Hand washing compliance up to 90% in Maryland hospitals

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

June 11, 2014

Maryland hospitals are proving that under pressure, it is possible to get just about all healthcare workers to wash their hands.
According to a report in the Washington Business Journal, healthcare workers in that state’s 44 acute care hospitals washed their hands 90% of the time over the last six months. The report is considered a success for Maryland, as hospitals have pledged to improve hand washing compliance by 30% over the next five years.
In addition to being a move that could reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAI), the reduction is a requirement in a renewed agreement with CMS that will allow hospitals to continue setting their own rates for hospital services, the report said.
Hand washing compliance continues to be one of the biggest concerns in healthcare, with traditional compliance rates lingering around 80%. Improper hand washing is considered one of the most common ways that infections are transmitted, and some reports from the CDC suggest that one in 25 patients contract an infection in the hospital.