(1) To define and characterize knowledge of effective hand hygiene and its scientific basis among practicing facial plastic surgeons; (2) to review the existing literature of, basis for, and guidelines on hand washing in clinical practice; and (3) to motivate and facilitate optimum hand hygiene among facial plastic surgeons.
National Web-based physician survey and literature review.
We conducted a national Web-based survey of members of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery regarding general patient safety practices. A subset of the survey assessed physicians' knowledge of hand hygiene, including supporting rationale and actual practices. One hundred and twenty-two facial plastic surgeons of various demographics replied to the online survey. Of these, 65 (53%) correctly knew which hand washing agents are most effective at killing microorganisms, 88 (74%) knew the preferred hand-washing method for visibly soiled hands, and 51 (42%) correctly identified the indications for hand washing.
Adherence to hand hygiene practices is suboptimal among facial plastic surgeons. There seems to be a lack of knowledge regarding indications, methods, and appropriate agents for hand hygiene. Promotion of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines is an important step in increasing hand hygiene compliance among facial plastic surgeons.