The important role of sink location in handwashing compliance and microbial sink contamination

      Handwashing is one of the most important means of reducing the spread of infection. In this study, we investigated how sink location and visibility influences handwashing and microbial contamination detected on clinical sinks in 3 pediatric intensive care units. We conclude that the visibility of sinks directly impacts on handwashing frequency and duration and also impacts on levels of bacterial contamination on and around the sink area.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to American Journal of Infection Control
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. World Health Organization. 2011 Report on the burden of endemic health care-associated infection worldwide ( Geneva: World Health Organization; 2011.

      2. Health Protection Agency. 2012 English national point prevalence survey on healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial use, 2011 ( London: Health Protection Agency; 2012.

        • Whitby M.
        • McLaws M.L.
        • Ross M.W.
        Why healthcare workers don’t wash their hands: a behavioral explanation.
        Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2006; 27: 484-492
        • Pittet D.
        Improving adherence to hand hygiene practice: a multidisciplinary approach.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2001; 7: 234-240
        • Beggs C.B.
        • Shepherd S.J.
        • Kerr K.G.
        How does healthcare worker hand hygiene behaviour impact upon the transmission of MRSA between patients?: an analysis using a Monte Carlo model.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2009; 9: 64
        • Turner A.
        • Doxa M.
        • O’Sullivan D.
        • Penn A.
        From isovists to visibility graphs: a methodology for the analysis of architectural space.
        Environ Plann B. 2001; 28: 103-121
        • McAteer J.
        • Stone S.
        • Fuller C.
        • Charlett A.
        • Cookson B.
        • Slade R.
        • et al.
        Development of an observational measure of healthcare worker hand-hygiene behaviour: the hand-hygiene observation tool (HHOT).
        J Hosp Infect. 2008; 68: 222-229