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One of the best ways to measure hand hygiene compliance is the observation audit. There are currently many tools in use and the cleanyourhands campaign is working to support the development of a standard UK wide tool.

We believe that there is value to a uniform methodology for hand hygiene observation audits across all care settings as it offers a number of benefits and ensures the process is simple, consistent and reliable. Observation audits should ideally be carried out by those trained in the standard operating procedures for carrying out audits in the specific care setting.

Observational audits should also be simple, consistent, and reliable as well as:

  • focused on staff compliance (don’t monitor the hand hygiene of patients/service users);

  • be Five Moments specific; (WHO observation form)

  • be done by workers who have had training in how to use the audit tools; and

  • only give positive scores for compliance at the right times and locations.

There are a variety of observational tools currently available for auditing hand hygiene compliance, and many trusts have created their own tools.  Some examples include:

However we recognize that observation is not appropriate in all care settings and other methods are needed to document hand hygiene compliance. We have provided examples here of tools that have been used in different care settings. [Please note that you must be logged in to access the link]