Maryanne McGuckin, Dr ScEd
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McGuckin M. Compliance with Handwashing. Ann Intern Med. 1999;131:309-310. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-131-4-199908170-00014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;131(4):309-310.
TO THE EDITOR:
Pittet and colleagues have documented the noncompliance of health care workers to basic hand hygiene practices (1). In 1984, we reported on the duration of handwashing in intensive care units and, like Pittet and colleagues, found that the average duration of handwashing by all personnel was 8.6 seconds. Duration did not differ significantly by level of patient contact but was slightly longer for high-level patient contact (2). Since 1981, when Albert and coworkers (3) brought the issue of handwashing noncompliance by health care workers to the attention of the medical community, 18 years of research on handwashing noncompliance has documented and reestablished that handwashing occurs in less than 50% of patient care contacts. In 1997, Larsen and associates conducted a well-designed, prospective, quasi-experimental study and concluded that intensive intervention, such as education, feedback, and automated sink devices, had minimal long-term effect on handwashing frequency (4).
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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