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WHO: Hand hygiene lacking in U.S. hospitals

March 5, 2014

WASHINGTON — New research from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Columbia University School of Nursing indicates that further improvement of hand hygiene practices in U.S. hospitals is needed, according to Infectious Disease News.

More than 2,000 U.S. hospitals were invited to complete an online survey about hand hygiene in their facilities, the article stated.

According to the article, overall, 77.5 percent of participants indicated that alcohol-based hand rub was continuously available throughout their facility, while about 84 percent of facilities conduct annual mandatory training that states hand hygiene is required of all healthcare workers.

"When hospitals don’t focus heavily on hand hygiene, that puts patients at an unnecessary risk for preventable healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)," study researcher Laurie Conway, RN, MS, CIC, a Ph.D. student at Columbia University School of Nursing, said in a press release.

"The tone for compliance with infection control guidelines is set at the highest levels of management, and our study also found that executives aren’t always doing all that they can to send a clear message that preventing infections is a priority," Conway added.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.