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Study shows feedback improves hand hygiene

Regular feedback helps improve the compliance of nurses and healthcare assistants with hand hygiene protocols, a study has found.

The Feedback Intervention Trial was carried out on 60 wards across 16 acute hospitals in England and Wales. Researchers from University College London and the Health Protection Agency tested a four week cycle of feedback.

During the first week, a co-ordinator observed a nurse or HCA for 20 minutes and immediate feedback given. The same process was repeated for a member of non nursing staff during the second week, while the entire ward area was observed in the third and group feedback was given in the fourth. The aim is that everyone on a ward would be observed at least once a year.

The researchers found protocol compliance after the intervention improved by 10-13% on elderly care or general medical wards, and 13-18% on intensive therapy units.

The intervention was carried out by a dedicated ward co-ordinator, usually a junior ward sister or infection control link nurse.

The trial results are published online in the PLOS One journal.

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