Your hand hygiene compliance rates may be lower than you’ve believed, for a simple reason. Ask yourself: Do your providers know when they’re being watched?
Researchers at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif., logged more than 4,600 observations in the second half of 2015. Observers consisted of 5 infection prevention nurses who were known to staff as well as 15 volunteers who were not. When providers knew they were being watched, their compliance rates were more than 30% higher than when they didn’t.
“This was not a result that we expected to see,” says Nancy Johnson, MSN, CIC, infection prevention manager at Santa Clara. “We have rolled out many changes as a result. Moving forward, the medical center’s monitoring will be conducted by unknown observers.”
The Santa Clara study was presented at this year’s 43rd Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).