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Improving Hand Hygiene Adherence: The Effect of a Hospital-Wide Educational Program

Lisa Stroud, PhD(c), RN, BC1, Fred Farley, PhD, RN, FACHE2, Martha Williams, MS, RN, CNAA2, and A. Serdar Atav, PhD3. (1) Director of Nursing Acute Care Services, Newark Wayne Community Hospital, Driving Park Avenue, PO Box 111, Newark, NY 14513-0111, 315-332-2474, Lisa.Stroud@viahealth.org, (2) Arnot Ogden Medical Center, 600 Roe Avenue, Elmira, NY 14905, (3) Decker School of Nursing, Binghamton University, PO Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

The purpose of this presentation is to report findings from a study of the effect of an education program on hand hygiene compliance, healthcare acquired infection rates, and usage of alcohol-based hand rub solution and soap in the newborn nursery, intensive care unit, and neonatal intensive care unit of a hospital in Upstate New York. The project was initiated as a part of evidence-based nursing practice efforts of the hospitalís Nursing Research Council. Numerous studies show that proper hand hygiene reduces the spread of bacteria in various healthcare settings. Improving hand hygiene reduces serious healthcare acquired infections which cause 90,000 patient deaths per year with a cost of $4.5 billion for treatment. In addition, outbreak investigations have indicated an association between infections and understaffing or overcrowding; the association was consistently linked with poor adherence to hand hygiene. Based on the evidence and methods from the literature, detailed data were collected for a month during the pre-intervention phase which was followed by the intervention. The intervention included of posters, Power Point presentations, staff meetings, and buttons and pamphlets. Data were again collected on hand hygiene practices for a month following the intervention. During the pre-intervention period a total of 726 opportunities for hand hygiene were observed with 62 % adherence. During the post-intervention period, 634 opportunities for hand hygiene were observed with 78% adherence. Initial data analyses indicate that adherence to hand hygiene in all participating units improved significantly after the intervention. This presentation will focus on the outcomes of this project, as well as the process of implementation.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Evidence Based Practice, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA