n South African Medical Journal - A multifaceted hospital-wide intervention increases hand hygiene compliance : in practice




Hand hygiene is an important and basic practice that should be used by all healthcare staff to protect both themselves and their patients against infection. Unfortunately hand hygiene compliance remains poor.

To show an improvement in hand hygiene compliance using a multifaceted approach.
This was a quasi-experimental pre-post intervention study design with a number of standardised interventions to promote hand hygiene. The World Health Organization hand hygiene multimodal (five-step) intervention approach was used. The study ran from June2015 to August 2015 in 11 selected wards of a 975-bed tertiary and quaternary care public hospital (Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa). The outcome was to assess improvement in hand hygiene compliance monthly over the 3 months, compared with non-intervention wards and compared with the wards' own performance measured in 2014. The study included both descriptive and analyticalcomponents.
Post intervention, hand hygiene compliance showed a statistically significant improvement for before patient contact from 34% in 2014 to 76% in 2015 (< 0.05) and for after patient contact from 47% in 2014 to 82% in 2015 (< 0.05).
The intervention improved hand hygiene compliance and can easily be replicated in other wards, resulting in sustaining a culture of hand hygiene improvement and behavioural change throughout the hospital.


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