Hand hygiene compliance in the pre-hospital setting

Health professionals' compliance with hand hygiene remains a universal problem in health care. While poor hand hygiene is prevalent in the inpatient and hospital environments, these behaviours are also similar among emergency medical services (EMS) personnel. Studies in infection prevention and control practices and knowledge of transmission of the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms within the EMS have highlighted sub-optimal standards and a need for improvement. This article discusses the different products, procedures and strategies available to improve hand hygiene compliance in the EMS, and how applying learning theories to understand and improve behaviour can also be incorporated into the crusade to improve hand hygiene.

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