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Can education influence stethoscope hygiene?

  • Jürgen L. Holleck
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Jürgen L. Holleck, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, VACT Healthcare System, 950 Campbell Ave, Mailstop 111, West Haven, CT 06516. (J.L. Holleck).
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT
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  • Naseema Merchant
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT
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  • Shin Lin
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT
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  • Shaili Gupta
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

    Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT

    Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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      Highlights

      • Stethoscope Hygiene is rarely done. We report a rate of zero.
      • Standard provider education, reminder flyers, and provision of cleaning supplies at the start of clinical rotations are insufficient to improve stethoscope hygiene rates.
      The importance of stethoscope hygiene has been demonstrated in prior studies, and is acknowledged by guidelines, yet it is rarely done. We implemented a pilot project consisting of provider education, reminder flyers and provision of cleaning supplies at the start of clinical rotations for housestaff, medical students, and attending physicians. Hand hygiene rates did not change significantly with rates between 58% and 63% while stethoscope hygiene remained at zero.

      Key Words

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