Hand Hygiene Compliance Study at a Large Central Hospital in Vietnam

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Feb 19;16(4):607. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16040607.


Lack of proper hand hygiene among healthcare workers has been identified as a core facilitator of hospital-acquired infections. Although the concept of hand hygiene quality assurance was introduced to Vietnam relatively recently, it has now become a national focus in an effort to improve the quality of care. Nonetheless, barriers such as resources, lack of education, and cultural norms may be limiting factors for this concept to be properly practiced. Our study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitude of healthcare workers toward hand hygiene and to identify barriers to compliance, as per the World Health Organization's guidelines, through surveys at a large medical center in Vietnam. In addition, we aimed to evaluate the compliance rate across different hospital departments and the roles of healthcare workers through direct observation. Results showed that, in general, healthcare workers had good knowledge of hand hygiene guidelines, but not all believed in receiving reminders from patients. The barriers to compliance were identified as: limited resources, patient overcrowding, shortage of staff, allergic reactions to hand sanitizers, and lack of awareness. The overall compliance was 31%; physicians had the lowest rate of compliance at 15%, while nurses had the highest rate at 39%; internal medicine had the lowest rate at 16%, while the intensive care unit had the highest rate at 40%. In summary, it appears that addressing cultural attitudes in addition to enforcing repetitive quality assurance and assessment programs are needed to ensure adherence to safe hand washing.

Keywords: Vietnam; hand washing; quality assessment; quality improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Hand Hygiene / methods
  • Hand Hygiene / standards*
  • Hand Sanitizers / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Vietnam


  • Hand Sanitizers