In Canada, an estimated 220 000 healthcare-associated infections occur each year, with 8000 deaths resulting. Although no published Canadian data or costs are available, healthcare-associated infections are estimated to be very costly in terms of morbidity and mortality, as well as direct and indirect costs. MRSA alone is associated with estimated costs between $42 and $59 million per year for Canadian hospitals. It is estimated that 30%-50% of healthcare-associated infections are preventable. Healthcare-associated infection is largely spread by direct contact, especially through the hands of healthcare workers. Despite the fact that hand hygiene has been shown to be the most effective method to reduce healthcare-associated infections, compliance with hand hygiene recommendations in healthcare workers is poor. Effective strategies that successfully promote long-term compliance with hand hygiene recommendations in patient care areas are needed.
The full text of this document can be downloaded here Interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance in patient care: Evidence and implications for public health