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What is Hand Hygiene Audit

What is Hand Hygiene Audit

Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infection in every industry. Every day, workers worldwide come into contact with patients who may be carrying harmful bacteria and viruses. That’s why workers need to take measures to prevent the spread of infection, and one of the most important ways to do this is through proper handwashing techniques.

This article will discuss hand hygiene audits and how to make a hand hygiene audit checklist. Hand hygiene compliance auditing is conducted to assess the effectiveness of hand hygiene programs in business.


What is a Hand Hygiene Audit?

Hand hygiene audit, also called hand washes hygiene compliance auditing, is the process of making sure proper hand hygiene techniques are practiced. This audit is conducted to prevent the spread of infection and bacteria that can potentially cause harm and disruption of operations. 


What is Hand Hygiene Compliance

Hand hygiene compliance is a health and safety policy that requires health workers and employees to wash their hands thoroughly and often. This policy is put into place to prevent the spread of infection and bacteria in the workplace. 

Hand hygiene compliance was commonplace in the medical field before becoming a popular practice in other industries after the outbreak of COVID. It may seem like a simple policy, but its negligence will negatively affect not just the company but also the people who will be put at risk because of it. 

In the healthcare industry, negligence of hand hygiene compliance will negatively impact the healthcare institution’s duration of hospital stays, treatment prices, and morbidity rate. Therefore, good hand hygiene compliance is important. Ang it can be achieved when workers are well-trained and better understand hand hygiene techniques and guidelines.


The Importance of Hand Hygiene Audit

It may be a simple procedure, but a hand hygiene audit is important. It can help businesses in many ways. For example, with a proper hand hygiene audit, a business or healthcare institution can:

Prevent the spread of infection

As mentioned earlier, hand hygiene compliance is important to prevent the spread of infection. By auditing and making sure that proper handwashing techniques are being followed, businesses can help protect their employees and customers from harmful bacteria and viruses.

Reduce the risk of foodborne illness

In the food industry, hand hygiene compliance is essential to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses. A hand hygiene audit can help businesses ensure that their employees follow proper handwashing procedures to avoid contaminating food.

Improve employee morale

When employees feel like their workplace is clean and safe, they are more likely to be productive and have a positive attitude. A hand hygiene audit can help businesses create a safer and more enjoyable work environment for their employees.

Improve worker health and safety

By auditing hand hygiene compliance, businesses can identify potential hazards and take steps to improve worker health and safety.

Improve the quality of patient care

In the healthcare industry, hand hygiene compliance is essential to prevent the spread of infection. A hand hygiene audit can help healthcare institutions. It improves patient care quality by ensuring that they follow the proper handwashing techniques.

Reduce the cost of healthcare

Hand hygiene compliance can help reduce the cost of healthcare by preventing the spread of infection. In addition, a hand hygiene audit can help healthcare institutions reduce healthcare costs by ensuring that it follows proper handwashing techniques.


How to Perform Hand Hygiene Audit?

The World Health Organization (WHO) created the 2019 hand hygiene guidelines to reinforce proper handwashing techniques within the workplace and healthcare facilities. When performing a hand hygiene audit, WHO recommends five key steps:

Step 1: Communicate with the Facility

Contact the admin of the workplace or facility before commencing the audit. Announce the observation period and the purpose of performing the audit. Inform employees or healthcare workers about the data documentation methods (e.g., written, photo evidence, etc.). Doing so will give the workplace time to prepare for the audit.

Step 2: Identify Specific Areas to Audit

Audit key areas, especially where there is a higher risk for transmission of infection. These areas may include the entrance, exit, restrooms, kitchen, and Patient-Care Units (PCU). Introduce yourself to the staff and ask permission to observe their handwashing compliance. You should aim to perform an adequate number of observations across various departments, offices, and wards.

Step 3: Maintain Worker Privacy

Avoid compromising worker or patient privacy during the auditing. Inspectors should maintain a professional distance and not hover around the sink area. Do not take photos or videos without prior consent from the employees or patients. Also, avoid auditing during extreme situations (e.g., emergency codes, time-sensitive tasks).

Step 4: Observe an Individual Employee or Healthcare Worker

Conduct the audit in accordance with the WHO’s ‘Five Moments of Hand Hygiene:

  • Before touching another worker or patient
  • After body fluid risk or exposure
  • After touching another worker or patient
  • Before clean or aseptic procedures
  • After touching different surroundings


Step 5: Document and Share Key Observations

Provide feedback to the employee or healthcare worker if hand hygiene wasn’t performed properly. Determine compliance scores by the ratio of hand hygiene actions performed to the number of opportune moments that warrant handwashing. Then, share the results with the right people (e.g., department heads, boards, management).


Create Hand Hygiene Audit Checklist with DataMyte Digital Clipboard

Auditors can use a digital hygiene audit checklist to streamline data-gathering and reporting. In addition, the DataMyte Digital Clipboard is a workflow automation software that can help conduct proper inspections using several of its tools and features.

The smart form and checklist builder is one such feature that enables the DataMyte Digital Clipboard to aid auditors during hand hygiene observations. With this feature, inspectors can create digital checklists compliant with the latest hand hygiene guidelines.

You can even add other elements to your checklist to make it even more effective and convenient. For example, you can add timestamps, GPS location, and photos to the checklist to provide more context for the observations.

If you’re working with a team, you can share the digital hand hygiene audit checklist that you create with other team members to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

With the DataMyte Digital Clipboard, you can be sure that your hand hygiene audit checklist is accurate, up-to-date, and compliant with the latest guidelines. Schedule a demo today to see how the DataMyte Digital Clipboard can help you with your hand hygiene audit efforts.



Never take a hand hygiene audit lightly, as it can mean the difference between life and death for patients in healthcare facilities and the spread of bacteria and viruses in the workplace. By properly following the steps above, you can ensure that your hand hygiene audit is accurate and in line with accepted health and safety standards. 



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