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Compliance with hand hygiene guidelines low

The guidelines with regard to hand hygiene, for the prevention of care-related infections, are not adequately adhered to in Dutch hospitals.

Handen wassenHazard
Care-related infections such as hospital infections are a public health hazard. Some of the hospital infections can be prevented by strict observance of hygiene guidelines. But the compliance with hand hygiene guidelineslow is still too low, according to Vicki Erasmus.

The scientific researcher at Erasmus MC will receive her doctorate for research on the hand hygiene behavior in Dutch hospitals on 25 April.

A representative sample taken in 24 Dutch hospitals shows that the hand hygiene guideline compliance level is 20 percent. Erasmus: "This means that that for every five required hand hygiene moments the hands are actually only washed once.”

Handen wassenHabit
There is no difference between the behavior of physicians and nurses. It is particularly a matter of habit although among nurses the behavior of colleagues also plays a major role.  For physicians it is important that they are sufficiently aware of the guidelines.

Prior to the PhD ceremony, Erasmus MC will organize a symposium on Infection Prevention in Practice (Dutch only). To sign up, send an email to

Read the full press release.

Date published: 24 April 2012.

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