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Am J Med Qual. 2009 May-Jun;24(3):205-13. doi: 10.1177/1062860609332369. Epub 2009 Mar 30.

Hand hygiene compliance rates in the United States--a one-year multicenter collaboration using product/volume usage measurement and feedback.

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  • 1McGuckin Methods International, Ardmore PA, USA.


Hand hygiene (HH) is the single most important factor in the prevention of health care-acquired infections. The 3 most frequently reported methods of measuring HH compliance are: (1) direct observation, (2) self-reporting by health care workers (HCWs), and (3) indirect calculation based on HH product usage. This article presents the results of a 12-month multicenter collaboration assessing HH compliance rates at US health care facilities by measuring product usage and providing feedback about HH compliance. Our results show that HH compliance at baseline was 26% for intensive care units (ICUs) and 36% for non-ICUs. After 12 months of measuring product usage and providing feedback, compliance increased to 37% for ICUs and 51% for non-ICUs. (ICU, P = .0119; non-ICU, P < .001). HH compliance in the United States can increase when monitoring is combined with feedback. However, HH still occurs at or below 50% compli- ance for both ICUs and non-ICUs.

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