Comparative evaluation of internists' behaviour regarding hand hygiene in the emergency room and in the wards of a tertiary university hospital in Greece

Abstract number: 1734_147

Giannitsioti E., Athanasia S., Koulouri O., Kolias A., Papadopoulos A., Fitrou H., Giamarellou H.

Background: This study was launched in order to compare how hand hygiene policies influence the internists' behaviour in the emergency rooms and in the wards of a Department of Internal Medicine at a tertiary hospital in Athens.

Methods: The study was conducted from May to June 2006. Behaviour of internists in the wards and the emergency room regarding the use of gloves and the use of alcohol-based hand-rubs during medical procedures was assessed by two independent observers via a standardised registry form. Medical procedures were divided into invasive (i.e blood puncture, catheterisations) and non-invasive (i.e. clinical examination) ones. A bed-railed system of alcohol based hand rubs was installed in every ward. Dispensers of hand rub antiseptic were installed on each table in the emergency room. Statistical analysis was done by Chi-square and Fischer exact test for categorical variables.

Results: There was no difference regarding the use of gloves among internists in the emergency room (22/73, 30.2%) and the Department wards (30/84, 35.7%) while changing gloves between patients reached 95.5% and 93% respectively. However, among internists who did not wear gloves, the adequate use of antiseptic before and after contact with each patient was efficient only in the wards (28/54, 51.8%). Internists in the emergency used antiseptic only before (5/51, 9.8%) or only after (13/51, 24.5%), but never before and after contact with the patient. Rates of invasive procedures did not differ between the emergency rooms and the wards.

Conclusions: Internists were prompt to appropriately use hand rub antiseptic only when they were working in the wards but not in the emergency. This issue may be mainly attributed to the internists' stress during the work in emergency. Moreover, although antiseptic was available in both departments, the bed-rail hand rub dispensers existed only in the wards and presumably enhanced the internists' compliance with hand hygiene rules.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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