The clinician handwashing poll results at Medscape Today!

May 31, 2009

Handwashing: the single most critical measure for reducing the risk of transmitting microrganisms.

In april 2009 Medscape Today presented the results of a poll among clinicians focussed on their response when patients “speak up” with questions about care and hand hygiene. Let’s take a look at the clinicians responses.

Posters in hospitals encourage patients to “Speak Up” with questions about their care, such as about clinician hand washing. Although many patients don’t speak up, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the ones that do are met with a variety of reactions. How do you respond when patients request that you wash your hands?


A. I appreciate the reminder

– 56% (2831)

B. I appreciate the reminder, but I don’t really need it.

22% (1113)

C. I’m annoyed, but still appreciate the reminder.

6% (348)

D. I’m slightly irritated because I always wash my hands before entering a patient’s room, they just don’t see it.

14% (700)

(Total Responses: 4992; Poll was conducted during the period: 21-Apr-2009 – 28-Apr-2009)


The swine flu etiquette: use good hand hygiene, no handshaking, no mask, to prevent a pandemic!
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Hand hygiene: warm air dryers increase bacteria on hands!
Hand-washing prevent food-borne illnesses!
A kiss is healthier than a handshake!


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