The Doctor Will See You Now, But Might Not Shake Your Hand

June 14, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Could avoiding handshakes help reduce healthcare-associated infections? A professor of pediatrics at UCLA thinks so, according to a May 30, 2017 article in Kaiser Health News. The doctor implemented a handshake-free zone at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of his hospital. The results, published on March 30, 2017, in the American Journal of Infection Control, did not reveal whether the zone decreased the spread of germs, but indicated a reduction in the incidence of handshakes by both family members and providers. Nearly all families and the majority of healthcare workers, particularly nurses and medical students, supported the idea, according to a post-implementation survey. Male doctors were the most resistant to the zone, the article said, with many stating that they were not completely convinced it could reduce infections.

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