WHO hand hygiene strategy feasible and sustainable

Two-year study showed marked improvement at multiple sites around the world

By Healthcare Facilities Today
August 30, 2013

A new study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases found that the World Health Organization (WHO)’s strategy for improving hand hygiene is easy for healthcare workers to practice, 

The research team implemented WHO’s strategy in 55 departments in 43 hospitals in six sites in Costa Rica, Italy, Mali, Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Between December 2006 and December 2008, compliance with best practices increased from 51 percent to 67 percent. Infrastructures and staff knowledge were also significantly improved, according the the article posted on the Infection Control Today web site.

The study also demonstrated that the improvements were sustained for at least two years after the testing phase.

"The WHO strategy was based on a multimodal approach previously proven to have a dramatic effect in reducing the number of healthcare-related infections at the WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety at the University of Geneva Hospitals, but now for the first time we have evidence of its feasibility and successful effect to improve hand hygiene in a variety of different geographical and income settings, with even greater impact in low-income and middle-income countries than in high-income countries," says Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, program manager of the Clean Care is Safer Care, WHO Patient Safety Program and lead author of the paper.

Read the article.




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