Scientific article

Hand hygiene: improved standards and practice for hospital care

ContributorsPittet, Didier
Published inCurrent opinion in infectious diseases, vol. 16, no. 4, p. 327-335
Publication date2003

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To review the most recently published literature on hand hygiene practices in healthcare settings. RECENT FINDINGS: Adherence with recommendations for hand hygiene remains low, but key factors of noncompliance have been identified and corrective actions proposed. Current guidelines recommend the use of alcohol-based handrub formulations as the new standard of care, thus requiring a system change in most hospitals. In addition, healthcare worker education and motivation are obviously important to modify hand hygiene behavior and must be part of multimodal strategies to enhance compliance in hospitals. Compliance improvement is associated with reduced infection rates and resistance spread. Handrub application according to recommended practices is an alternative to conventional surgical handscrubbing with antiseptic soap and water for surgical hand preparation. SUMMARY: System change must be addressed in most hospitals where alcohol-based handrubbing has not become a standard of care. Strategies to improve hand hygiene compliance must be multimodal and include staff education and motivation, the use of performance indicators, and hospital management support. Successful campaigns will result in reduced infection rates, antimicrobial resistance spread, and enhance patient safety.

  • Guideline Adherence
  • Handwashing/ methods/ standards
  • Hospitals/ standards
  • Humans
  • Infection Control/ methods/ standards
Citation (ISO format)
PITTET, Didier. Hand hygiene: improved standards and practice for hospital care. In: Current opinion in infectious diseases, 2003, vol. 16, n° 4, p. 327–335. doi: 10.1097/01.qco.0000083564.72029.27
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal0951-7375

Technical informations

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