Each year, an estimated 2.5 million patients in the U.S. develop healthcare-associated infections that result in 90,000 deaths and cost the healthcare system an estimated $4.5 to $5.7 billion dollars. Practices that reduce hand-to-hand or hand-to-skin contamination, including the use of hand sanitizers, hand washing and using gloves, are considered the most effective way to decrease the risk of healthcare-associated infections.
Key findings from a study in Applied Nursing Research that examined hand hygiene practices before and after procedures in an oncology hospital:
- Overall compliance with hand hygiene guidelines was only 34.3%
- 72% followed guidelines after procedures
- 41.7% followed guidelines before procedures
- Compliance was higher in high-risk procedures or when the provider was exposed to blood