[Evaluation of a hand hygiene technique in healthcare workers]

Rev Calid Asist. 2011 Nov-Dec;26(6):376-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cali.2011.09.002. Epub 2011 Oct 26.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To evaluate the quality of hand hygiene in healthcare workers and the influence of wearing jewellery.

Methods: A sample of 293 healthcare professionals of different categories and on different shifts was studied. Hand hygiene was evaluated by a fluorescent agent that allowed us to determine the areas of the hand that had been in contact with the solution. Each hand was divided into 6 zones to quantify the quality of hygiene, the maximum score was 12 points. The wearing of jewellery was quantified.

Results: The mean score obtained was 8.3 (SD 2.0) out of 12 points. At least one untreated area of the hand was found in 95.2% of subjects. The results in fingers, thumbs and wrists were significantly lower than those obtained in other areas of the hand (p<.001), being dirty in over 50% of the participants. A dirty wrist was observed in 90% of those who wore a watch and in 92.7% of those wearing a bracelet,and the 84.3% of subjects who wore a ring had dirty fingers.

Conclusions: Healthcare workers did not apply the technique of hand hygiene effectively. Areas where the alcoholic solution did not act as often were: thumbs, fingers and wrist. The use of watches, bracelets and rings prevent good hygiene.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohols
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / transmission
  • Female
  • Fingers
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Hand
  • Hand Disinfection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Professional-to-Patient / prevention & control*
  • Jewelry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personnel, Hospital*
  • Soaps


  • Alcohols
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Soaps