Clean Hands

    Observation protocol “Hand-hygiene in the NICU”

    Publication date: 01 January 2013

    Students work together on stimulating compliance with hand-hygiene procedures in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), part of the paediatric department at Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital in Rotterdam.


    In approximately 60% of cases as measured in ten hospitals connected with the Collaborating Rijnmond Hospitals Foundation, there is an indication to follow procedures for hand-hygiene according to the Dutch report “Handen Uit de Mouwen” (Rolling Up the Sleeves), based on World Health Organization's My five moments for hand hygiene. Unfortunately, the prescribed hand-hygiene at the NICU’s in hospitals is regularly performed poorly or not at all. The 60% compliance is relatively high compared to other wards. However, poor compliance with hand hygiene is a worldwide problem, leading to many preventable deaths.