Research for infection protection

Responsible application is recommended by the German national Clean Hands Campaign

Since the end of 2011, the German national „Clean Hands Campaign“ suggests a hand-disinfection, independent of fixed steps. This recommendation is based on a study by Kampf et al., where self-dependent hand-rubbing achieved best results in hand hygiene.

Kampf et al. show that self-dependent hand disinfection achieved a significant increase in hand hygiene in contrast to the fixed steps according to the European test procedure EN 1500, used for decades.

Hands, which are disinfected insufficiently, show a possible risk for transmission and infection. The use of self-dependent hand-rubbing as a new standard provides more protection in clinical practice for patients. Good compliance as well as knowledge and implementation of the “5 moments of hand disinfection” are necessary for successful hand hygiene. This is proved to be the most important measure to prevent nosocomial infections in health care settings. Apart from that, the all-over hand disinfection has a great impact on patient protection. The results by Kampf et al. show that accurate hand disinfection, independent of fixed steps, is the best method for successful hand hygiene.   

Motion sequences according to the European test procedure EN 1500, including a specific order of 6 steps with up to 5 times repeat, showed worst results. EN 1500 is not a guideline for hand-rubbing with disinfectants, but it is a part of a European standard for effectiveness of hand disinfectants. Since 1970, the motion sequences were also recommended and used for clinical practice in health care settings.

Based on the results of this study, the “Clean Hands Campaign” recommends a self-dependent hand disinfection, independent of fixed steps. 


Interview with the author of the study “"Influence of the rub-in-technique on required time and hand coverage in hygienic hand disinfection”" Prof. Dr. med. Günter Kampf, Director Science, BODE SCIENCE CENTER