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Hand hygiene: even 100% compliance scores may be concealing hospitals’ dirty secrets

Audit is often flawed and is no substitute for examining prevalence of acquired infections
nurse washes her hands

Audit is often flawed and is no substitute for examining prevalence of acquired infections

  • Measuring compliance with hand hygiene policy can lead to complacency, making it harder to change habits
  • There is a danger hand hygiene could slip down the healthcare agenda, despite its pivotal role in patient safety
  • Fresh guidance from NHS Improvement aims to make it easier for nurses in all settings to adhere to best practice

It was Craig Bradley’s own experiences as a patient and a father that helped solidify his views that the way we measure hand hygiene has to change.

As an associate chief nurse and deputy director of infection control, Mr Bradley is accustomed to seeing documents that chart compliance with hand hygiene policies. But he is hugely sceptical about what they actually demonstrate.

His own employer, Gloucestershire

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