New Way to Improve the Effectiveness of Handwashing

04/11/2016 |

Six-step process could eliminate more harmful bacteria in healthcare settings

washing hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer

The six-step handwashing technique recommended by the WHO is more effective at removing harmful bacteria from healthcare workers’ hands than the three-step process that the CDC recommends, says a new study. The six-step method showed significantly lower median bacterial counts on hands than after the three-step method, though the researchers note that the six-step method does take an average of 25% longer to complete properly.

The research, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, examined the effectiveness of the handwashing methods by following 42 doctors and 78 nurses using alcohol-based hand rub in an urban, acute-care hospital while administering patient care. Even though the six-step method was found to be the most effective, the study also discovered that only 65% of healthcare workers completed the technique correctly even though they’d been provided instructions and knew they were being observed, indicating the need for more effective training on handwashing best practices.

Looking for more ways to improve healthcare facility operations? These tips can help you get started!

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