Nav: Home

Healthcare workers wash hands more often when in presence of peers

September 10, 2014

CHICAGO (September 10, 2014) - Nationally, hand hygiene adherence by healthcare workers remains staggeringly low despite its critical importance in infection control. A study in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), found that healthcare workers' adherence to hand hygiene is better when other workers are nearby.

"Social network effects, or peer effects, have been associated with smoking, obesity, happiness and worker productivity. As we found, this influence extends to hand hygiene compliance, too," said Philip Polgreen, MD, an author of the study. "Healthcare workers' proximity to their peers had a positive effect on their hand hygiene adherence."

Researchers at the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine used a custom-built, badge-based system to estimate hand hygiene compliance and opportunities, as well as the location and proximity of every healthcare worker in the medical intensive care unit of the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics during a 10-day period for 24-hours a day. Badges were randomly provided at the start of each shift to physicians, nurses and critical care staff. The badges collected information from healthcare workers within proximity and hand hygiene compliance when entering and exiting a patient room. In total, more than 47,000 hand hygiene opportunities were recorded.

The estimated hand hygiene rate was 7 percent higher (28 percent vs 21 percent) when healthcare workers were in close proximity to peers when compared with the rate when healthcare workers were alone. In general, the researchers found that the magnitude of the peer effects increased in the presence of additional healthcare workers, but only up to a point.

The authors note that the results speak to the importance of the social environment in healthcare and have important implications for understanding how human behavior affects the spread of diseases within healthcare settings.
-end-
Mauricio N. Monsalve, MS, Sriram V. Pemmaraju, PhD, Geb W. Thomas, PhD, Ted Herman, PhD, Alberto M. Segre, PhD, Philip M. Polgreen, MD. "Do Peer Effects Improve Hand Hygiene Adherence Among Healthcare Workers?" Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology [35:10] (October 2014).

Published through a partnership between the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and The University of Chicago Press, Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology provides original, peer-reviewed scientific articles for anyone involved with an infection control or epidemiology program in a hospital or healthcare facility. ICHE is ranked 13 out of 158 journals in its discipline in the latest Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports from Thomson Reuters.

SHEA is a professional society representing more than 2,000 physicians and other healthcare professionals globally with expertise in and passion for healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention. SHEA's mission is to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections and advance the field of healthcare epidemiology. The society promotes science and research, develops expert guidelines and guidance for healthcare workers, provides high-quality education, promotes antimicrobial stewardship, encourages transparency in public reporting related to HAIs, works to ensure a safe healthcare environment, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge. SHEA upholds the value and critical contributions of healthcare epidemiology to improving patient care and healthcare worker safety in all healthcare settings. Visit SHEA online at http://www.shea-online.org, http://www.facebook.com/SHEApreventingHAIs and @SHEA_Epi.

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

Related Healthcare Articles:

LGBT+ women face barriers to healthcare
New study suggests diversity messaging is not filtering down to frontline staff.
US and China should collaborate, not compete, to bring AI to healthcare
In the wake of the US government ordering the Chinese artificial intelligence company, iCarbonX, to divest its majority ownership stake in the Cambridge, Mass.-based company PatientsLikeMe, Eric Topol, MD, of Scripps Research, has co-written a commentary arguing for more, not less, collaboration between China and the US on artificial intelligence (AI) development.
Study highlights need for integrated healthcare for the homeless
A University of Birmingham study has found alarming evidence of severe mental health problems, substance dependence and alcohol misuse amongst homeless population.
Understanding C. auris transmission with the healthcare environment
Researchers have now shown that patients who are heavily colonized with Candida auris on their skin can shed the fungus and contaminate their surroundings.
Three quarters of Americans concerned about burnout among healthcare professionals
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Americans are concerned about burnout among healthcare professionals, according to new survey data released today by ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists).
Novel healthcare program for former prisoners reduces recidivism
A healthcare program tailored to the needs of recently released prisoners can significantly reduce recidivism, according to a new study led by a Yale researcher.
Are healthcare providers 'second victims' of medical errors?
Four women with family members who died as a result of preventable medical error penned an editorial for The BMJ urging abandonment of the term 'second victims' to describe healthcare providers who commit errors.
Positivity can transform the healthcare workplace
Positivity can transform the healthcare workplace, according to a professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Network driving emergency healthcare research
The Emergency Medicine Foundation -- Australia has successfully piloted a Research Support Network to foster research in more than 30 Queensland public hospital emergency departments.
Healthcare providers -- not hackers -- leak more of your data
New research from Michigan State University and Johns Hopkins University found that more than half of the recent personal health information, or PHI, data breaches were because of internal issues with medical providers -- not because of hackers or external parties.
More Healthcare News and Healthcare Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.