Exploring physician hand hygiene practices and perceptions in 2 community-based canadian hospitals

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Journal of Patient Safety





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article, attitude to health, Canada, community hospital, compliance, Cross-Sectional Studies, cross-sectional study, female, Guideline Adherence, hand hygiene, hand washing, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Hospitals, Community, human, Humans, male, middle aged, physician, physicians, practice guideline, predictors, psychological aspect, questionnaire, Questionnaires, self-report, statistics, survey


Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the self-reported hand hygiene practices and the predictors of hand hygiene among physicians in a midsize Canadian city. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey using self-report questionnaire administered to a complete list of 354 local physicians. Perception of proper compliance was defined in a participant if he/she indicated performance of hand hygiene before and after every patient contact at least 80% of the time. Results: One hundred fifty-four physicians completed the questionnaire, yielding a 44.9% response rate. Only 45.3% of our sample reported performing preprocedure and postprocedure hand hygiene at least 80% of the time. Stepwise logistic regression results suggested that the variables "presence of hand hygiene auditing" (odds ratio [OR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47-6.91), "being too busy" (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.20-0.90), "forgetfulness" (OR, 0.27; 95%, CI, 0.13-0.56), and "the perception that hand hygiene products are damaging to the skin" (OR, 0.31;95% CI, 0.11-0.88) were the only independent predictors of physician hand hygiene compliance. Conclusions: Hand hygiene compliance among physicians remains an issue. The findings emphasize the need of health-care institutions to prioritize hand hygiene by ensuring proper promotion and enforcement of current policies to all practicing HCPs. © 2013 by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.