Hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers before and during the COVID-19 pandemic
Sandbøl, S.G.; Glassou, E.N.; Ellermann-Eriksen, S.; Haagerup, A.
American Journal of Infection Control 50(7): 719-723
Healthcare workers' (HCWs) adherence to hand hygiene is vital in combatting COVID-19 in hospitals. We aimed to investigate HCWs hand hygiene compliance before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and hypothesised that hand hygiene compliance would increase during the pandemic. We conducted a prospective observational study in three medical departments at the Regional Hospital of West Jutland, Denmark from April 2019 to August 2020. A total of 150 HCWs participated before the COVID-19 pandemic and 136 during the pandemic. Hand hygiene observations were assessed using an automated hand hygiene monitoring system. Students unpaired t-test was used to assess differences in hand hygiene compliance rates in each department. Comparison analyses showed, that hand hygiene compliance in department A and B was significantly higher before the COVID-19 pandemic than during the pandemic; a 7% difference in department A and a 5% difference in department B. For department C, the total hand hygiene compliance was unchanged during the pandemic compared to before. The COVID-19 pandemic did not raise hand hygiene compliance. Further studies are needed to verify these findings and further identify barriers to hand hygiene compliance among HCWs.