Impact of a Comprehensive Workplace Hand Hygiene Program on Employer Health Care Insurance Claims and Costs, Absenteeism, and Employee Perceptions and Practices

J Occup Environ Med. 2016 Jun;58(6):e231-40. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000738.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of a multimodal hand hygiene intervention program in reducing health care insurance claims for hygiene preventable infections (eg, cold and influenza), absenteeism, and subjective impact on employees.

Methods: A 13.5-month prospective, randomized cluster controlled trial was executed with alcohol-based hand sanitizer in strategic workplace locations and personal use (intervention group) and brief hand hygiene education (both groups). Four years of retrospective data were collected for all participants.

Results: Hygiene-preventable health care claims were significantly reduced in the intervention group by over 20% (P < 0.05). Absenteeism was positively impacted overall for the intervention group. Employee survey data showed significant improvements in hand hygiene behavior and perception of company concern for employee well-being.

Conclusion: Providing a comprehensive, targeted, yet simple to execute hand hygiene program significantly reduced the incidence of health care claims and increased employee workplace satisfaction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Female
  • Hand Hygiene / standards*
  • Hand Sanitizers / administration & dosage
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Workplace*


  • Hand Sanitizers