Name of Faculty Advisor
Dr. Kevin Mazor
This research project explores how the COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced the rates of hand hygiene compliance in an acute care setting.
Background and significance
Hand hygiene is a crucial step in restricting the spread of disease and infection within the healthcare setting. Although hand hygiene is a key procedure to limit the spread of healthcare acquired infections, most healthcare workers comply with hand hygiene guidelines less than half of the time. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of proper hand hygiene in limiting the spread of infection. In this project, the hand hygiene trends in an acute healthcare setting are examined, looking at differing healthcare professional roles such as nurses, physicians and patient care technicians, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theoretical model underlying the differences in reported and observed hand hygiene compliance has been difficult to determine. Studies by Pittet and O’Boyle concluded that intensity of work in a clinical setting had more impact on compliance rates than variables predicted by the Theory of Planned Behavior. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted healthcare workers, as they face the challenges of increased hospitalizations, vaccination hesitancy, and the safety of patients and staff. However, the COVID-19 pandemic also re-emphasized the importance of hand hygiene in reducing spread of disease within healthcare and has caused healthcare facilities to enact stringent hand hygiene practices. Therefore it is not known in what manner hand hygiene rates will be influenced by the ongoing pandemic.
Deidentified hand hygiene data will be obtained from a local acute care setting. Changes in hand hygiene rates due to COVID-19 were determined by comparing hand hygiene rates in months prior to the COIVID-19 pandemic with rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our results indicate an increase in hand hygiene among physicians, nurses and patient technicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that among physicians there was a statistically significant increase in hand hygiene compliance after April 2020.
Our data shows a statistically significant increase in hand hygiene compliance of physicians through the course of the pandemic.
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Hand Hygiene Practices of Healthcare Professionals