Less than 40 percent Australian doctors wash their hands after attending a patient

Less than 40 percent Australian doctors wash their hands after attending a patientRecent study has revealed that doctors fall at the bottom place when it comes to maintenance of hand hygiene. Doctors are supposed to wash their hands after attending a patient. It is a professional obligation as well as moral responsibility of the doctors, but less than 40 per cent of doctors are washing hands after patient interaction.

Research team from the University of New South Wales and the New South Wales Clinical Excellence Commission looked at the level of hand hygiene among hospital staff. Study data indicated that 65 percent nurses are washing their hand after attending a patient as compared to less than 40% doctors. Even hand hygiene rates of allied health workers (40 to 48 per cent) were higher than doctors.

Study concluded that Clean Hands Save Lives campaign started in NSW's public hospitals in early 2006 has increased the level of hygiene among staff workers however more is still to be done.

Associate Professor Mary-Louise McLaws says health workers should be encouraged to remind each other of their hygiene responsibility.

She added: "We should be empowering doctors and nurses to remind each other gently and politely, and of course doctors will need to have special research so that we can find out what are the barriers and facilitators that we don't understand that prevent them from hand-hygiening."



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