COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus infections/complications; coronavirus infections/pathology; coinfection/epidemiology; bacterial infections/epidemiology; cross infection/prevention & control; guideline adherence; hand disinfection; infection control/methods; hospital-acquired infection; nosocomial infection


Infectious Disease | Patient Safety | Quality Improvement



Hospital-acquired infections are associated with increased morbidity, mortality, costs and length of stay. Prior studies have linked increased hand hygiene compliance with reduced hospital-acquired infection rate. With the increased vigilance for personal and institutional hygiene practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, we hypothesized increased hand hygiene compliance and, as a result, decrease in hospital-acquired infections in our hospital.


Hand hygiene compliance data was provided by the hospital’s Quality Department. We queried and empirically analyzed local hospital-acquired infection data obtained from our Quality Department and the National Healthcare Safety Network. We compared local hand hygiene compliance rates before and after the implementation of increased infection prevention and control measures in March 2020 and correlated various hospital-acquired infection rates with hand hygiene compliance.


Our results showed a statistically significant and sustained increase in compliance with hand hygiene at our hospital after implementation of hospital-wide infection control measures. We demonstrated a downward trend in all hospital-acquired infections, which was not statistically significant. A strong statistically significant negative correlation was found between hand hygiene compliance and the rate of Clostridium difficile hospital-acquired infection.


Hand hygiene adherence has increased since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic in our hospital, and a noticeable, although not statistically significant, downward trend in most of the analyzed hospital-acquired infections was identified. A significant limitation to our study was small sample size. Future studies are warranted to further analyze the impact of increased hygiene practice on the incidence of hospital-acquired infections.