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Handwashing practices in Polish hospitals: results of a survey conducted by Polish Society of Hospital Infection



Handwashing practices in Polish hospitals: results of a survey conducted by Polish Society of Hospital Infection



Journal of Hospital Infection 48 Suppl A: S47-S49



Handwashing is the most important and least expensive measure for preventing transmission of hospital-acquired infections. Nevertheless, healthcare workers do not seem to understand the risks associated with non-compliance. Thus, compliance is usually poor and rarely exceeds 40%. The Polish Society of Hospital Infection has made a short study of handwashing practices in Polish hospitals as observed by members of infection control teams. The study was based on questionnaires given to infection control workers attending the annual congress of the society. The workers were asked to complete the forms during the congress according to their perceived estimations. Altogether 78 complete questionnaires were analysed. The responding staff members were from hospitals of all sizes, reference levels and regions. Nearly all (95.6%) hospitals had a written protocol for handwashing procedures but according to the estimates of their infection control teams, the compliance rates varied from 20 to 80% although in most institutions was between 40% and 60%. In the vast majority of the hospitals, alcoholic rub preparations were used (70.3%), but in some both handwashing with chlorhexidine in detergents and alcohol-based antiseptics were used in different situations. According to the respondents, the mean time of hand disinfection varied from 1 to 3 min. The handwashing procedures were mostly performed in examination, operating and patients' rooms. Thus, it seems that as in other countries, Polish healthcare workers fail to understand the importance of handwashing.

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Accession: 046211655

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PMID: 11759026


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