Facility Survey Shows WHO Hand Hygiene Framework is Easy to Use

Andrew Stewardson, MD, of the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Collaborating Center on Patient Safety at the University of Geneva Hospital, reported recently that more than 90 percent of participating facilities in a study reported that the Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework -- a component of WHOs focus on handwashing in healthcare facilities -- was easy to implement. Stewardson presented his findings at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy held in Boston earlier this month.

The framework, designed to analyze structures, resources, promotion and hand hygiene practices in healthcare facilities, can be accessed at: http://www.who.int/gpsc/country_work/hhsa_framework.pdf. The framework is comprised of five components that are based on the WHO's multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategies of system change, staff education, evaluation and feedback, and reminders in the workplace and institutional safety climate.

Stewardson says that the framework was sent to healthcare institutions in 19 countries for pilot testing, with the facilities asked to complete a survey. Stewardson says 23 facilities said that the framework was easy to use, while 24 facilities thought that the framework was "useful for establishing facility status with regard to [hand hygiene] promotion."

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