Hand Hygiene Compliance and Performance Improvement


Hand hygiene is one of the most important factors that help in controlling some of the infectious diseases. According to Lin, Yang and Lai (2014), many hospitals have witnessed cases where patients get infected while in the wards because of poor hygiene.

There are many bacterial diseases that can easily be transferred from one patient to another if hand hygiene is not maintained. The infection may occur when a nurse, or anyone who is handling the patient, touches a patient after handling a bacterial infected body without washing his or her hands (Raines & Wilson, 2006). This can also occur when patients share food without maintaining hand hygiene. This means that bacteria can easily move from one patient to another. In order to eliminate such unfortunate cases and improve the health of the inpatients, it is important to maintain hand hygiene. This is the focus of the paper.

Importance of the Topic

Hand hygiene compliance is a requirement that nurses have to observe when handling patients in the wards. According to Boyce (2011), it can be unfortunate for a patient to acquire a new disease while in the wards just because of poor hygiene. This can even get worse if such a patient succumbs to the newly acquired disease. As a way of improving the performance of our hospitals, nurses have the responsibility of maintaining hygiene within the wards in order to eliminate cases of patient-to-patient, nurse-to-patient or visitor-to-patient infections (Westley & Glick, 1997).

This means that other than ensuring that they maintain their personal hygiene while in the wards, the nurses will need to create awareness among the patients about the importance of maintaining hand hygiene as a way of protecting their health. The nurses will also need to reach out to the visitors and explain to them why they should maintain hand hygiene when handling their patients in order to eliminate the possible cases of re-infection (Ginsberg, 2001). This research is important because it explains how all these activities are to be conducted in order to ensure that the best results are achieved when handling patients.

Type of Concept Used

In this literature search, it was important to collect journal articles in nursing that focus on hand hygiene compliance and performance. In this online research, it was important to identify the right words to use in order find the necessary materials. Choosing the right words in the search engine is critical when looking for online articles. In this literature search, the following are some of the words that were used in the search engine to find the relevant journal articles.

  • Hand hygiene compliance
  • Importance of hand hygiene
  • Performance improvement through hand hygiene
  • Hand washing among in-patients

The above words were used in the search engines in order to access the relevant online articles for this research.

Types of Engines Used

When looking for online articles, it is necessary to select the relevant search engines that may help in accessing the needed materials. In order to ensure that the sources obtained were reliable, the researcher restricted the number of the search engines to only two. The main search engine that was used to search for the materials was Google. Yahoo played a supportive role.

Levels of Evidence

Most of the materials used in this study were peer reviewed journals. However, the researcher also used case control studies, case series, and case reports in order to collect the needed information about hand hygiene.


Boyce, J. (2011). Measuring Healthcare Worker Hand Hygiene Activity: Current Practices and Emerging Technologies Free content. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 32(10), 1016-1028.

Ginsberg, M. (2001). A Study of Oral Hygiene Nursing Care. The American Journal of Nursing, 61(10), 67-69.

Lin, H., Yang, L. & Lai, C. (2014). Factors Associated with Hand Hygiene Compliance among Critical Care Nurses. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 35(3), 329-330.

Raines, K. & Wilson, A. (2006). Frontier Nursing Service: A Historical Perspective on Nurse-Managed Care. Journal of Community Health Nursing, Vol. 13(2), 123-127.

Westley, C. & Glick, D. (1997). Foot Care: An Innovative Nursing Service in a Community Nursing Center. Journal of Community Health Nursing, 14(1), 15-21.