Hand hygiene has been shown to be effective in significantly reducing hospital acquired infections for many years. However it is difficult to maintain and enhance compliance with hand hygiene guidelines. In Hong Kong, we previously reported a strategy to counter campaign fatigue from 50%-55% in 2009-11 to 83% in 2012. Here we report a creative activity that we used to sustain and enhance hand hygiene compliance. In May 2014 we broke the first Guinness World Record for a Hand Sanitizing Relay. A total of 277 participants performed hand hygiene before two official and approved witnesses. Following this team-directed strategy, an increase in hand hygiene compliance was identified in June 2014 in two clinical areas with previously poor compliance. The longer term impact of this strategy remains to be determined. More broadly, further research is urgently needed on meeting the challenge of campaign fatigue, and maintaining and enhancing compliance with hand hygiene guidelines.
Cowling, B. J., Seto, W. H., Li, K. H., Cheung, C. W. Y., & Ching, P. T. Y. (1000). Breaking a Guinness World Record on Hand Sanitizing Relay, initiating a call for vital research in overcoming campaign fatigue for hand hygiene. F1000Research, 3.