Efficacy versus effectiveness

Take a moment to check out this video from today's NY Times.

If a hand hygiene method demonstrates marginally better reduction in bacterial counts on hands, but is also more complicated and takes longer to complete, should it become the standard?

Related question: does the difference in log10 bacterial counts between 2.58 CFU/ml and 2.88 CFU/ml translate into a greater risk for pathogen transmission in healthcare settings?

I’ll let you ponder the above questions, as I don’t have the answers. One thing I do know: when a hand hygiene paper in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology is being covered by the NY Times, we’re winning!

I’ll let Eli and Mike comment on how many of the people depicted in the video are bare below the elbows!


  1. Not much to add apart from the person who is the focus of the video is Dr. Yoko Furuya the Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian Hospital Epidemiologist.

  2. Why is this doctor wearing rings and a watch when performing hand hygiene?
    Karina Nolte
    Infection Control Expert Holland

  3. Hi Karina,
    Very good question, Didier also pointed this out quite prominently on Twitter. In the US, very few hospitals advocate for a 'bare below the elbows' approach, so it is common for providers to wear rings and watches during HH and patient care.


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