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Evaluation of a campaign aiming to improve hand hygiene at a small animal teaching hospital

A. Shea, S. Shaw

STUDIES in human medicine have investigated the effectiveness of protocols and educational campaigns to increase hand hygiene in hospitals, but there is little comparable information published in the veterinary literature. This study established baseline data on hand hygiene practices among staff and students at a small animal university veterinary hospital in the USA, and assessed the effects of an educational campaign and improved access to antibacterial foam on hand hygiene behaviour.

Over a two-week period, four observers surveyed hand hygiene behaviour by faculty members, residents, interns, students and technicians during patient interactions (defined as any instance in which an animal was touched in the course of providing care). For each interaction, the method of hygiene, whether hand hygiene was practised before and after the interaction, and whether practices were carried out properly or improperly, were recorded. A four-week hand hygiene educational campaign, involving posters around the hospital and signs in the wards, a presentation, an online training module, and discussion of hand hygiene in training for new interns and residents, was then carried out. Additional antibacterial foam dispensers were placed at the entrances to the wards …

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