To the Editor: I must concur with Gilbert1 that there is variability in how doctors interpret hand hygiene policies. If charged with strictly following the “Five Moments For Hand Hygiene”, there are areas in which, as doctors, our performance may not be reported as being satisfactory. An example would be a doctor in a four-bed ward turning from one patient to the next: after contact with one patient, evaporative alcohol applied to his or her hands has not dried before the doctor needs to make contact with the next patient. Correct hand hygiene procedure dictates applying the product after finishing with one patient and waiting for it to dry; then reapplying the product and waiting for it to dry before touching the next patient, without contacting anything else in the room first. Could it be that some of the lamented non-compliance is due to a flaw in the protocol?
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.