Effective hand washing and hand hygiene are universally recognized as the simplest ways to prevent the spread of infection. As well as limiting the spread of disease, hand washing is one of the few effective ways to reduce the development of antibiotic resistant infections. Despite this, many studies have shown that hand hygiene and compliance best-practice standards is universally poor amongst doctors and nurses working in hospitals. Previous studies have identified many factors reported to affect hand washing compliance. The time to undertake hand hygiene, the individual’s knowledge of hand hygiene techniques, their attitudes towards its importance, workloads, and the context in which they work are all known to influence hand hygiene practices.
One important factor known to influence hand hygiene factors is the availability and accessibility of equipment to carry out effective hand hygiene, such as antiseptic solutions. It is well-documented that compliance with hand hygiene is directly proportional to the accessibility and availability of products to decontaminate hands. In the context of the emergency department, where there are significant time and resource pressures, the time it takes to undertake hand hygiene and the accessibility of products to do so are important. Despite this, little evidence exists that examines the relationship between the positioning of hand hygiene solutions relative to the sink and its effect on hand hygiene compliance.
Stackelroth, J., Sinnott, M. and Shaban, R.Z., 2015. Hesitation and error: Does product placement in an emergency department influence hand hygiene performance?. American journal of infection control, 43(9), pp.913-916.
Stackelroth, J. and Shaban, R.Z., 2011. The challenges of implementing a national hand hygiene initiative in rural and remote areas: Is it time for a new approach to auditing?. Healthcare infection, 16(2), pp.63-70.
Dr Michael Sinnott
Dr Georgia Livesay
Prof Ramon Shaban
Ms Jenny Stackelroth