Hand hygiene compliance: What we do when no one's watching

Time to get back to basics, says infection control expert

The true rates of hospital-wide hand hygiene compliance have been thrown into question by a study that shows staff are far less likely to wash their hands when no one is watching.

washing hands

Researchers looked at what happened on two wards at an unnamed tertiary teaching hospital in Sydney when “human auditors” were replaced by an automated surveillance system that recorded when staff used the hand hygiene dispensers.

They found compliance rates dropped from more than 94% to just 30% — well below the national minimum standard of 70% — when human