Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect Dev Ctries. 2011 Mar 2;5(2):114-8.

A survey of hand-washing facilities in the outpatient department of a tertiary care teaching hospital in India.

Author information

Department of Hospital Administration, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India .



Inadequate hand-washing facilities have been reported as a barrier to hand washing. This study aimed to evaluate the availability and accessibility of hand-washing facilities and supplies of hand-washing agents in the outpatient department (OPD) complex of a tertiary care teaching hospital.


A checklist containing 13 variables was prepared and all rooms of direct patient care in the OPD were assessed on one occasion. 


Out of 211 rooms surveyed, a hand-washing facility was available in 209 (99.05%) rooms. Among these, 206 (98.56%) sinks were easily accessible and were placed close to users. Almost all sinks (99.5%) had hand-operated taps. Thirty-five (16.75%) sinks had no soap stand, and at 21 (10.5%) sinks, soap stands were found to be broken. At 14 (6.70%) sinks, soap bars were not available, while an antiseptic agent was available at 6 (2.87%) sinks. Four (1.91%) sinks had no towel stand, and at 8 (3.83%) sinks the towel stands were broken. At 43 (20.57%) sinks no towel was available, and at 23 (11%) sinks the towels provided were dirty. No sink drain was found to be blocked. No sink had hand-washing instructions displayed demonstrating the correct technique of hand washing.


Physical facilities required for hand washing were adequate though not perfect. There is a need to shift from hand-operated taps to non-manual taps and from cloth towels to paper towels. Hospital managers in developing countries should continuously strive to provide the best possible hand-washing facilities within their financial resources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries
Loading ...
Support Center