Hand hygiene in hospital settings is needed to reduce hospital infections. Adequate hand hygiene is seen as the most important intervention to prevent nosocomial infections. Compliance with hand hygiene protocols needs continuous promotion and facilitation. In a paper just published in the American Journal of Infection Control, with Dr. Onno Helder as first author, we describe a study of the effectiveness of sequential hand hygiene promotion among hospital workers in an intensive care unit in a children's hospital.
We conducted an observational study with an interrupted time series analysis of the occurrence of nosocomial bloodstream infections (NBSIs) among very low-birth weight (VLBW) infants. Interventions consisted of an education program, gain-framed (i.e. the positive effects of hand hygiene was communicated) screen saver messages, and an infection prevention week with an introduction on consistent glove use.
Almost 2,000 VLBW infants were studied admitted between 2002 and 2011. The proportion of infants with ≥1 NBSI decreased from 47.6%-21.2%; the number of NBSIs per 1,000 patient days decreased from 16.8-8.9. Pre-
intervention, the number of NBSIs significantly increased, while after the first intervention a significantly declining trend in NBSIs was observed, which stayed at this lower level during the sequential interventions.
We concluded that continuous sequential hand hygiene promotion contributes to a sustained low NBSI rate.