Doctors' hand hygiene falling below standard

A new study has found doctors are failing to comply with hand-washing protocols.
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01.Hand hygiene must improve: study

Nurse washing hands

When it comes to washing their hands, doctors are consistently falling below the 70% compliance threshold, a new Australian study has found. According to the study, doctors didn't wash their hands 40% of the time before touching a patient. But nurses are relative puritans by comparison, with a compliance rate of 80%.

Study author Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an infectious diseases expert at the University of New South Wales, said the problems with hand-washing were a result of the complexity of the five-step hand-washing hygiene program introduced in 2009.

The process should be simplified, she said, to focus on washing hands before and after seeing each patient, and health workers should be empowered to intervene if they see poor hand-washing practice.



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