Hygiene technique concept . Washing hands with soap on dental clinic

A study has found environmental and food services staffers, along with nurses, wash their hands more frequently than other healthcare workers, according to an article on the Safety and Health website.

In a recent study from Ecolab – a manufacturer of water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services — researchers electronically monitored the use of alcohol-based hand rub among 3,927 healthcare workers at five medical facilities while calculating the workers’ total hand hygiene product use and hours on the job.

The study was published in the American Journal of Infection Control. Findings showed that use rates among non-clinical personnel rated in the 95th percentile for all workers.

These employees applied hand rub an average of 9.1 times per hour while washing their hands an average of 2.1 times an hour. The average use rates for all workers in these categories was 3.6 and 0.7, respectively.

In 2018, The Joint Commission began citing “…observations by surveyors on individual failure to perform hand hygiene in the process of direct patient care…” as a deficiency and will result in a Requirement for Improvement.

Previously, hospitals were not cited for individual failures of hand hygiene performance, as long as the organization was able to show a hand hygiene program with progressive compliance rates. But, because hospitals have now had more than a decade to get a successful program in place, it has determined that it is time for further action.

CDC recommends that workers wash their hands:

• Before eating
• After contact with blood, body fluids or excretions, mucous membrane, non-intact skin, or wound dressings
• After contact with objects in the patient’s immediate vicinity
• If hands will be moving from a contaminated-body site to a clean-body site during patient care
• After restroom use