Hand hygiene practices among health care workers (HCWs) in a tertiary care facility in Pune.
BACKGROUND:Improper hand hygiene by healthcare workers (HCWs) is responsible for about 40% of nosocomial infections resulting in prolonged illnesses, hospital stays, long-term disability and unexpected high costs on patients and their families, and also lead to a massive additional financial burden on the health-care system. OBJECTIVE:To assess knowledge and practices regarding hand hygiene among HCWs of a tertiary health care facility. METHODS:A cross sectional, questionnaire and observation based study was carried out in a tertiary care health care facility in Pune. Based on sample size calculations, 100 HCWs working in medical and surgical wards were studied. RESULTS:The proportion knowledgeable about hand hygiene practices was 85% and 73% HCWs were of the belief that unclean hands are an important route of cross transmission. WHO guidelines regarding procedure were being followed by 90% for hand washing with soap and water and 64% for alcohol based rubs. Majority preferred hand washing with soap and water over hand rubbing with alcohol based solutions. 21% of HCWs were missing hand hygiene opportunities 1 in 5 times. Heavy workload (38%), non availability (52%) and inaccessibility (9%) of hand hygiene facilities were the common reasons for non-compliance. Availability of 'one time use paper towels' was low (12%). CONCLUSION:Inadequate compliance despite knowledge and false sense of security by alcohol based rubs was seen. A multi disciplinary, multifaceted approach is required to tackle issues of non-compliance.
Anargh, V; Singh, H; Kulkarni, A; Kotwal, A; Mahen, A
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