Assessment of healthcare worker’s hand hygiene and infection prevention practices of their personal belongings in a healthcare setting: A survey in pre COVID era and literature review on standard disinfection practices


Healthcare workers
Mobile phones
Hygiene practices


Background – Healthcare workers’ (HCW) hands and personnel belongings are vehicles of transmission of nosocomial infections. Knowledge, attitude and practice of hand hygiene have been extensively studied suggesting adequate knowledge but poor compliance. Similar data on aprons, mobile phone and stethoscope disinfection practices are lacking. This becomes extensively important topic of discussion in current COVID 19 pandemic where inadequacy in hygiene practices is devastating. Aim– To study the knowledge, attitude and infection prevention practices of HCWs aprons, electronic devices, stethoscopes, and hands. Methods– A cross sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted among HCWs of Medicine ward and ICU. Findings – Sixty-six HCWs responded to the survey. Awareness that hands, aprons, mobile phones, stethoscopes could cause cross transmission and knowledge of correct practices was present in majority of the respondents. Hand hygiene was performed by 65.2% of the respondents before touching a patient and 54.5% after touching the patient surroundings while 13.6% performed only when it was visibly soiled. Mobile phones and stethoscopes were disinfected by 13.6% and 30.3% of the respondents after each patient encounter, respectively. Aprons were washed after using them at a stretch for a median duration of 5 days (1 – 30 days). Forgetfulness, lack of reinforcement, lack of time, inadequate awareness on standard disinfection practices and fear of damaging electronic devices from disinfectants use were reasons for poor compliance. Conclusion –There is an urgent need to spread awareness and formulate standard guidelines on disinfection practices especially for mobile phones, stethoscopes, and aprons in addition to reinforcing hand hygiene practices.


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