Patients don't wash their hands enough

8 October 2014

A new study has found that, while hospital visitors and staff regularly use sanitiser, patients themselves are not washing their hands enough to prevent infections.

The research, led by Dr Jocelyn Srigley, a McMaster University researcher, found that people staying in hospital often do not wash their hands frequently enough. According to the study, patients rinse their hands about 30 per cent of the time while in the washroom, 40 per cent during meal times, and only three per cent of the time when using the kitchens on their units. 

It also found that patients neglect to wash their hands when entering or leaving a hospital room, with about three per cent and seven per cent guilty of these mistakes respectively.

Published online in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, highlights the importance of encouraging patients to wash their hands to reduce hospital-based infections, according to principal investigator Dr Jocelyn Srigley, an assistant professor of medicine and the associate medical director for infection prevention and control at Hamilton Health Sciences.

She and her team examined 279 adult patients in three multi-organ transplant units of an acute care teaching hospital over an eight-month period. Using new electronic hand hygiene monitoring technology, they put sensors on all soap and sanitizer dispensers to determine patient behaviour.

Posted by Edward Bartel


Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.


Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)