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  1. Haas, Janet P. DNSc, RN, CIC
  2. Larson, Elaine L. PhD, RN, CIC, FAAN


It has long been known that hand hygiene among health care workers plays a central role in preventing the transmission of infectious agents. But despite a Joint Commission requirement that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hand hygiene guidelines be implemented in hospitals, compliance among health care workers remains low. The authors argue that hospitals may best improve compliance by assessing the barriers to it, measuring the rates of compliance, educating staff on the importance of hand hygiene, making sanitizing products more available for staff use, and holding staff accountable. The authors emphasize as well that lasting improvement in hand hygiene is a collaborative effort that depends on the committed support of hospital administrators.