An Audit of hand hygiene practices in ICU’s and wards of a tertiary care hospital
Objective: To assess the extent to which Hand hygiene practices, as proposed by the WHO, were being followed by the healthcare workers based in different departments of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad.
Methodology: An observation checklist was designed based on the recommendations of WHO. This checklist was then filled by nurses working in different departments while they observed the participants. The participants included consultants, post-graduate trainees, house-officers, nurses, and technicians. The observations were then compiled on data collection sheets and analyzed.
Results: A total of 106 healthcare workers took part in this audit. Out of them, only 57.5% of healthcare workers disinfected their hands before moving from infected to non-infected body site on the patient. Jewelry was worn by only 25.5% of healthcare workers out of which 45.5% wore the recommended type and the majority of healthcare workers had small and clean fingernails. As far as following the 5 steps for hand hygiene was concerned, only 75.5% of healthcare workers reported compliance. Availability of sinks which was found to be 75.5%, nearly a quarter of the participants reported no area designated for cleaning hands. Soap was provided in 86.4% of the cases and around 95% of the workers were provided with alcohol-based hand washing agent and the solution dispenser was filled.
Conclusion: Overall, it is obvious that hand hygiene plays a very crucial role in patient safety and the reduction of hospital acquired infections. An honest effort is required on part of the hospital administration to ensure that there is adequate infrastructure on ground for people to have access to hand washing areas.
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