Doctors least likely to wash hands: StudyOctober 20th, 2009 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Oct 20 (IANS) Even after a clean hands campaign, less than half of the doctors who participated in an Australian study were found to wash their hands after interacting with potentially infectious patients.
Doctors are still lagging behind nurses when it comes to keeping their hands clean, collaborative research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission has found.
A series of four landmark studies found that nurses were far better than doctors and other allied health workers in matters of hand hygiene.
The clean hands campaign was conducted between February 2006 and February 2007 and resulted in an overall improvement in hand hygiene. However, improvement was not uniform.
The proportion of nurses who cleaned their hands after patient interaction rose from 54.5 percent before the campaign, to just over 65 percent after the end of the programme. During that same period, doctor figures rose from 29.6 percent to just under 39 percent.
Allied health workers hand hygiene rates went from 40 to 48 percent.
The findings suggest much more needs to be done to educate doctors and allied health workers about the benefits of clean hands and to empower nurses to initiate change, a UNSW release said.
“Doctors are going to be horrified when they see this data. No doctor thinks ‘I’m going to work today to infect my patients’,” said study author Mary-Louise McLaws, director of Public Health Programs at UNSW.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified hand hygiene as a key element in reducing rates of hospital acquired infections.
The study was published in a special supplement of the Medical Journal of Australia.
- A pair of clean hands can save lives (May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day) - May 04, 2011
- May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day - May 04, 2012
- 'Hand-hygiene reduces healthcare-acquired infections' (May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day) - May 04, 2012
- E-prescribing slashes prescription errors - Feb 03, 2012
- Unique approach to 'improve dental hygiene in dementia patients' found - May 02, 2011
- Gurgaon hospital wins WHO hygiene award - Jul 16, 2011
- How people respond to being touched by a robot - Mar 10, 2011
- Good manners are at the heart of good health - Jun 07, 2011
- Unhygienic practices lead to poor academic performance: Study - May 30, 2012
- Infections in US hospitals claim 400,000 lives annually - May 07, 2011
- Homes are home to infections, says report - Oct 21, 2010
- Doctors and nurses' mobile phones crawling with bacteria - Mar 13, 2009
- Indians more upbeat on health than Chinese, Brazilians: Study - Mar 29, 2011
- 'Smart bandage' to speed up wound healing - Jun 06, 2011
- Lead poisoning in developing world alarming - Aug 15, 2011
Tags: allied health, clean hands, clinical excellence commission, collaborative research, director of public health, hand hygiene, hands campaign, health workers, hospital acquired infections, landmark studies, mary louise, mclaws, medical journal of australia, new south wales, patient interaction, public health programs, study author, university of new south wales, unsw, world health organisation