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90% of Healthcare Workers Not Hand Hygiene Compliant

Patrick Boshell
September 25, 2012

Hand Hygiene BehaviourData from 10 million hand hygiene events using electronic monitoring technology revealed for the first time that 9 out of 10 healthcare workers currently access hand sanitizer using only one dose from a dispenser.


As recommended by the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC), hand sanitizer volume should be such that it wets hands fully and provides “15-seconds of rubbing” before drying. In addition, Health Canada recommends that each hand sanitizing event should meet the standards of the Healthcare Personal Hand Wash (HCPHW) test which requires a 3 log reduction against the test organism, Escherichia coli.


Wet contact time of less than 15-seconds may be an indication that too little product was applied to complete a proper hand hygiene event. The combination of proper “dose” and “wet time” is critical in helping to prevent Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs). In Canada, about 250,000 people or one out of every nine patients admitted to hospital each year, acquire infections while being treated for something else.


Proper hand hygiene by healthcare providers is one of the most effective ways of preventing HAIs. “To get clean hands, it is very important to have your hands wet for 15 seconds - and it is easiest for all of us, if we can get that volume with one dose," says Dr. Allison McGeer, a Microbiologist and Infectious Disease Consultant at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.  Mount Sinai Hospital has a leading infection control program with a high standard for hand hygiene compliance.


With HAIs being an ongoing health and cost issue, a new innovative hand hygiene solution for was recently developed by Deb and launched in Canada.   “We have the unique advantage of our electronic monitoring technology which allows us to draw upon real-time usage data.  As a result, we could direct our research and development efforts to provide healthcare facilities with an effective solution to improve hand hygiene quality & patient safety," add Dr. John Hines, R&D Director at Deb Group.

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