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Bundling hand hygiene interventions and measurement to decrease health care–associated infections

      Proper performance of hand hygiene at key moments during patient care is the most important means of preventing health care–associated infections (HAIs). With increasing awareness of the cost and societal impact caused by HAIs has come the realization that hand hygiene improvement initiatives are crucial to reducing the burden of HAIs. Multimodal strategies have emerged as the best approach to improving hand hygiene compliance. These strategies use a variety of intervention components intended to address obstacles to complying with good hand hygiene practices, and to reinforce behavioral change. Although research has substantiated the effectiveness of the multimodal design, challenges remain in promoting widespread adoption and implementation of a coordinated approach. This article reviews elements of a multimodal approach to improve hand hygiene and advocates the use of a “bundled” strategy. Eight key components of this bundle are proposed as a cohesive program to enable the deployment of synergistic, coordinated efforts to promote good hand hygiene practice. A consistent, bundled methodology implemented at multiple study centers would standardize processes and allow comparison of outcomes, validation of the methodology, and benchmarking. Most important, a bundled approach can lead to sustained infection reduction.

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