Simple handwashing is the best known way to prevent hospital infections, but according to a report released today by nonprofit hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of hospitals surveyed have not implemented all the safe practices and policies recommended for proper hand hygiene. The results, as analyzed by Castlight Health, also indicate that while hospitals overall showed improvement in 2014 for hand hygiene, rural hospitals aren't performing as well as their urban counterparts.
"There is no excuse for a hospital to fail on hand hygiene," says Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. "It puts patients, clinicians and all health care workers at risk when handwashing is not a priority."
Key findings from this report include:
•The percentage of hospitals meeting all 10 of Leapfrog's hand-hygiene practices increased from 69 percent in 2013 to 77 percent in 2014.
•Urban hospitals continue to outperform rural hospitals; about 20 percent more urban hospitals met Leapfrog's standard and showed greater year-over-year improvement in meeting the standard.
•There is significant geographic variation in adoption of hand hygiene safe practices: in five states, more than 90 percent of reporting hospitals met all practices, while in six states, only 60 percent or less of reporting hospitals met all practices.
This report is the fifth in a series of six reports examining key quality and safety measures at hospitals nationwide, based on data taken from the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,501 U.S. hospitals and analyzed by Castlight Health. To view the complete hand hygiene report and other Leapfrog reports, visit: http://www.leapfroggroup.org/HospitalSurveyReport. Data also is searchable by region and by hospital via the Leapfrog Hospital Survey results.
Source: The Leapfrog Group