Hand Hygiene Compliance as Part of Multifaceted Approach to Infection Control

Why do we so frequently use the term “multifaceted approach” when we talk about what’s required to address the problem of healthcare associated infections (HAIs)? Here’s one reason: hand hygiene is widely acknowledged as an essential element of any HAI control program, and hand hygiene compliance rates vary widely among medical personnel, let alone hospital visitors.

The Resources section of this site includes some basic information about hand hygiene. In addition, we provide links to two other comprehensive programs to help healthcare facilities improve their hand hygiene compliance rates. The advice in those programs fall into five categories:

  • Training and education – making sure all personnel, including new hires, understand the proper protocols
  • System change/infrastructure – supplies and systems to make compliance easy
  • Workplace reminders – basically strategically placed signage
  • Monitoring and feedback – praise for compliance, accountability for non-compliance
  • Institutional culture – patient safety, and especially hand hygiene, should be a priority, and everyone should know it.

World Health Organization (WHO) Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy

Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA)  How-to Guide: Improving Hand Hygiene – A Guide for Improving Practices among Health Care Workers