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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in American Journal of Medical Quality

Volume 24, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 205-213.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/1062860609332369. Copyright © American College of Medical Quality


Hand hygiene (HH) is the single most important factor in the prevention of health care-acquired infections. The 3 most frequently reported methods of measuring HH compliance are: (1) direct observation, (2) self-reporting by health care workers (HCWs), and (3) indirect calculation based on HH product usage. This article presents the results of a 12-month multicenter collaboration assessing HH compliance rates at US health care facilities by measuring product usage and providing feedback about HH compliance. Our results show that HH compliance at baseline was 26% for intensive care units (ICUs) and 36% for non-ICUs. After 12 months of measuring product usage and providing feedback, compliance increased to 37% for ICUs and 51% for non-ICUs. (ICU, P = .0119; non-ICU, P < .001). HH compliance in the United States can increase when monitoring is combined with feedback. However, HH still occurs at or below 50% compli- ance for both ICUs and non-ICUs.



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