The Phaserl


Doctors’ Hand Washing Habits Putting Patients at Risk

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

People take it for granted that doctors and nurses are washing their hands properly before examining them. After all, no one understands germs and sickness like these healthcare professionals do. But a recent study finds that unless doctors are being watched, they tend to neglect proper hygiene.

The study found that healthcare professionals at SCVMC dramatically increased their hand hygiene compliance when they knew they were being evaluated.

For the study, the researchers had two types of auditors assess hand hygiene: Infection Prevention (IP) nurses – considered the hospital’s “hygiene patrol” – and high-school and college-age volunteers who received training on how to perform the exact same assessments, but who were not consistently recognized by hospital staff.

A pattern quickly began to emerge.

Maricris Niles, an infection prevention analyst at SCVMC, told ABC News:

“[We noticed] a very consistent trend that our Infection Prevention nurses were seeing something different than what volunteers were seeing.”

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