Multi-faceted Interventions Impact Hand Hygiene Compliance

Researchers, writing in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, say that the rate of adherence to hand hygiene practices had a statistically significant increase of 6 percent with use of a multi-faceted intervention, but the incidence of MRSA colonization was not reduced.

Mertz, et al. (2010) sought to evaluate the impact of a multifaceted intervention to increase rates of adherence to hand hygiene among healthcare workers and to assess the effect on the incidence of hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization. The researchers conducted their study in 30 hospital units in three tertiary-care hospitals in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

The researchers explain that following a three-month baseline period of data collection, 15 units were randomly assigned to the intervention approach (including performance feedback, small-group teaching seminars, and posters) and 15 units to usual practice. Hand hygiene was observed during randomly selected 15-minute periods on each unit, and the incidence of MRSA colonization was measured using weekly surveillance specimens from June 2007 through May 2008.

Teh researchers report that 3,812 (48.2 percent) of 7,901 opportunities for hand hygiene in the intervention group resulted in adherence, compared with 3,205 (42.6 percent) of 7,526 opportunities in the control group. They also report that there was no reduction in the incidence of hospital-acquired MRSA colonization in the intervention group.

Reference: Mertz D, Dafoe N, Walter SD, Brazil K and Loeb M.Effect of a Multifaceted Intervention on Adherence to Hand Hygiene among Healthcare Workers: A Cluster-Randomized Trial. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010;31:1170-1176.