Doctors at most public hospitals are failing to follow national hand hygiene guidelines, a new study shows.
This is because the current five-step approach is too complex, says Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an infectious diseases expert at the University of New South Wales.
The approach should be simplified to focus on washing hands before and after seeing each patient, says Prof McLaws, who has published a report in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Human instinct will take care of other protocols, such as washing after coming into contact with bodily fluids.
“We need to simplify it. Five behaviour changes were thrown at the doctors and nurses all at once.
“The nurses got it. They are exemplary compared with doctors. But they work in teams and support each other.”