“Yuck factor” may improve hand hygiene

NEW YORK (CNN) – Disgusting photos of super-sized bacteria may prompt people to do a better job of washing their hands. A recent study showed that to be the case among health care workers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Infection prevention and control specialists, testing the “yuck factor”, showed magnified images of bacteria on things like mouse pads and work stations. Even a person’s hand.

Hygiene compliance rates in four patient care units improved on average by almost 24-percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate health care workers practice proper hand hygiene less than half of the time they should.

The CDC says health care workers might need to clean their hands as many as 100 times during a 12-hour shift.

The study is being presented this weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina during a conference for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

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