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Exploring Physician Hand Hygiene Practices and Perceptions in 2 Community-Based Canadian Hospitals

Budimir-Hussey, Mackenzie BSc, MD(c)*; Ciprietti, Lucas BSc, MD(c)*; Ahmed, Fawad BSc, MD(c)*; Tarola, Christopher BMSc, MD(c)*; Lo, Andrea BMSc, MD(c)*; El-Masri, Maher RN, PhD*†

Journal of Patient Safety:
doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e318283f56d
Original Articles

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the self-reported hand hygiene practices and the predictors of hand hygiene among physicians in a midsize Canadian city.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey using self-report questionnaire administered to a complete list of 354 local physicians. Perception of proper compliance was defined in a participant if he/she indicated performance of hand hygiene before and after every patient contact at least 80% of the time.

Results: One hundred fifty-four physicians completed the questionnaire, yielding a 44.9% response rate. Only 45.3% of our sample reported performing preprocedure and postprocedure hand hygiene at least 80% of the time. Stepwise logistic regression results suggested that the variables “presence of hand hygiene auditing” (odds ratio [OR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47–6.91), “being too busy” (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.20–0.90), “forgetfulness” (OR, 0.27; 95%, CI, 0.13–0.56), and “the perception that hand hygiene products are damaging to the skin” (OR, 0.31;95% CI, 0.11–0.88) were the only independent predictors of physician hand hygiene compliance.

Conclusions: Hand hygiene compliance among physicians remains an issue. The findings emphasize the need of health-care institutions to prioritize hand hygiene by ensuring proper promotion and enforcement of current policies to all practicing HCPs.

Author Information

From the *Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario; and †University of Windsor, Faculty of Nursing, Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Correspondence: Maher M. El-Masri, RN, PhD, University of Windsor, Faculty of Nursing, 401 Sunset, Health Education Center, Room 328, Windsor, Ontario, N9B 3P4, Canada (email:

All authors report no conflicts of interest relevant to this article. They also declare that the research reported in this manuscript received no financial support.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins