|Year : 2022 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 9-11
Compliance of hand hygiene practices in operating rooms by care workers: A preliminary observational study
Mahima Lakhanpal1, Ritesh Kumar1, Rajiv Chawla2, Debpriya Sarkar1, Isha Yadav1
1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Santosh Medical College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, Delhi, India
|Date of Submission||14-Dec-2021|
|Date of Acceptance||26-Apr-2022|
|Date of Web Publication||20-May-2022|
Dr. Mahima Lakhanpal
Flat No. 904, Tower 4, Orange County, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Context: Hand hygiene is the most important measure to prevent healthcare-associated infections. As part of a major global effort to improve hand hygiene in health care, the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands annual global campaign was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2009. The “My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene” approach by the WHO defines the key moments when health-care workers should perform hand hygiene. Aims: This is a preliminary observational study to monitor the level of adherence to hand hygiene practice by health-care workers (HCWs) in an operating room. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted in the surgery operation theater (OT) of our hospital. Direct observation of various personnel working in the OT was done by a single-trained observer. The time of observation was taken from the transfer of the patient on the OT table to the draping of the patient by the surgeon. The hand hygiene opportunities (HHO) as stated by WHO My 5 moments of hand hygiene were noted. Results and Conclusion: A total of 524 HHO were observed among health-care workers, among which 301 were missed and 223 were utilized. Out of the opportunities used were moments 3 and 4, which are primarily for the personal protection of Healthcare workers. Overall compliance of hand hygiene is very low among health-care professionals in the OT. There is an urgent need to educate the health-care personnel about “5 moments of hand hygiene” and ensure strict compliance to ensure patient's safety.
Keywords: Hand hygiene, health-care workers, patient safety
|How to cite this article:|
Lakhanpal M, Kumar R, Chawla R, Sarkar D, Yadav I. Compliance of hand hygiene practices in operating rooms by care workers: A preliminary observational study. J Ind Coll Anesth 2022;1:9-11
|How to cite this URL:|
Lakhanpal M, Kumar R, Chawla R, Sarkar D, Yadav I. Compliance of hand hygiene practices in operating rooms by care workers: A preliminary observational study. J Ind Coll Anesth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 27];1:9-11. Available from: https://www.jicajournal.in//text.asp?2022/1/1/9/345601
| Introduction|| |
Infection due to hospital-acquired microbes is a major concern worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) prevalence of healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) varies between 5.7% and 19.1% in low- and middle-income countries. Patient contact in the operating theater (OT) can contribute to HCAI through microbial contamination. Hand hygiene is considered the single most cost-effective public health measure in preventing HCAI. A simple act of hand hygiene that should be routine behaviour among health care workers (HCWs) is universally low worldwide.,
It has been observed that strictly following adequate hand hygiene protocols by health-care personnel could lead to a significant 15%–30% reduction in hospital-acquired infection (HAI); however, studies have shown that hand hygiene compliance rates are about 50% of opportunities in hospitals.,
The WHO's first global safety challenge, “Clean Care is Safe Care,” launched in October 2005, focuses on improving health-care workers' hand hygiene standards and practices. “Clean Care is Safe Care” is not a choice but a fundamental right. The WHO introduced global guidelines on health care in 2009, My 5 Moments of Hand Hygiene [Table 1]. Recently, in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, WHO in May 2021, started a “Seconds save lives – clean your hands”: campaign to focus on the utmost necessity of improving hand hygiene practices to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and continue good practices even after the pandemic.
|Table 1: World Health Organization: The 5 moments of hand hygiene in health care|
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Aim of the study
This study aims to monitor the adherence to hand hygiene practices by health-care workers in an operating room at our hospital.
| Materials and Methods|| |
It is an observational study conducted for 6 months in our hospital's neurosurgery elective OT and elective general surgery OT. A single-trained observer directly observed the hand hygiene adopted by various personnel working in the OT.
OT staff was categorized as follows:
- Anesthesia consultants
- Surgery consultants
- Anesthesia residents
- Surgery residents
- Anesthesia technicians.
Members of staff were unaware of the nature of the study to eliminate a Hawthorne-like effect. The observer kept the washing area in view to observe hand hygiene. Hand hygiene application is defined as using soap and water for hand wash or alcohol-based hand rub irrespective of the duration and amount of cleaning product used. The time of observation was taken from the transfer of the patient on the OT table to the start of draping of the patient by the surgeon; thus, the surgery consultants and surgery residents who were scrubbed and donned sterile gowns were not included in the study.
The hand hygiene opportunities (HHOs) as stated by the “WHO-My five moments of hand hygiene” were noted.
Hand wash or rub:
- Before patient contact
- Before an aseptic task
- After body fluid exposure risk
- After patient contact
- After contact with the patient's surroundings.
Compliance was measured as a percentage using the formula:
(Hand hygiene application/HHO) × 100
The use of gloves with or without hand hygiene was noted.
| Results|| |
Five hundred and twenty-four HHOs were observed among health-care workers [Table 2]. They were subdivided into two groups:
- Missed: Hand hygiene application was not made
- Utilized: Hand hygiene application was made
- Total number of HHOs observed (N) =524
- 301 were missed (57.44%)
- 223 were utilized (42.55%).
| Discussion|| |
Although the present study was conducted in the pre-COVID-19 era, the present scenario warrants utmost care and strict adherence to hand hygiene in health-care workers. Not only does it protect the health-care worker, but it also prevents infection transmission as well as cross-infection among patients. During this COVID-19 time, it has been proven and advised that simple hand hygiene decreases the spread of infection., Megeus et al. reported that an overall adherence to hand hygiene guidelines was 5.3% and was more common after a procedure than before one. Krediet et al., in their study on the compliance of hand hygiene, stated that hand hygiene on entering or leaving the OT was rare (2% and 8%, respectively).
The present study observed 524 HHOs among various health-care professionals in neurosurgery OT. The health-care workers touched the patient without hand hygiene application; adherence to HHO moment 1 is 5.6%. However, only 17.8% of HCWs used hand hygiene applications. HCW's hand hygiene application was relatively better after body fluid exposure risk, after patient contact, and after contact with patient surroundings in 30.2%, 41%, and 47%, respectively [Graph 1].
Personal protection is the reason for high compliance for HHO moment 3, 4, and 5. The use of gloves was taken as a substitute for hand hygiene applications. 72.5% used gloves without hand hygiene applications. Even aseptic procedures like catheterization were done using gloves without hand hygiene applications [Graph 2]. The Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust research observed more than 7,000 patient contacts. Found hand hygiene compliance “disappointingly low” at 47.7 %. Compliance was even lower where gloves were worn: just over 41%.
Several observational studies have demonstrated a reduction in HAI rates related to improved hand hygiene. Koff et al., in a controlled study, observed that the incidence of HCAI 30 days after the surgery reduced from 17.2% to 3.8%, with an increase in the frequency of hand hygiene in the O.T. from 0.15–0.38 to 7.1–8.7 hand hygiene applications per hour. Rosenthal et al. observed an improvement in hand hygiene adherence from 23.1% to 64.5% after educating HCW. The overall nosocomial infection decreased from 47.55% to 27.93% during the same period.
| Conclusion|| |
This study illustrates that adherence to hand hygiene is extremely low among OT staff. This is likely to increase HCAIs. An institutional and organizational intervention is needed to raise awareness among health-care workers, ensuring strict adherence to hand hygiene practices. It will promote and facilitate the application of hand hygiene and reduce HCAI.
Our study was limited as the microbial study was not done. Moreover, the number of opportunities observed is less. The present study is only limited to OT; however, to ensure patient's safety and lower incidence of infection, this practice is to be extended to other workplaces in the hospital.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2]