Compliance with contact precautions: Not so much

Elaine Larson's group has a new study in the American Journal of Infection Control that examines compliance with contact precautions at 3 hospitals in New York City. She found that 15% of patients who had indications for contact precautions were actually not isolated. For patients who were isolated, hand hygiene by healthcare workers on room entry was very low at 22% and on room exit at 59%. Compliance with gowns was 71% and with gloves 72%.

With the compliance levels demonstrated here it seems unlikely that these hospitals could be successfully preventing infections. I am increasingly convinced that effective infection prevention hinges on high levels of compliance with very basic practices. It's not rocket science.


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