Study documents about 40 percent compliance with hand-washing requirements.
Amednews.com reported on April 25 that the CDC and WHO have documented only a 40-to 50 percent compliance by medical professionals with hand-washing guidelines. The agencies rely on "secret shopper" observers to document hand-washing compliance in studies they perform. The CDC maintains that this poor compliance contributes to the 1.7 million annual health-care associated ["nosocomial"] infections in the United States. In theory, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals requires hospitals to comply with CDC and WHO guidelines, however, the JCAHO is a toothless agency dependent on member-hospital dues, and it literally never disciplines a member in good standing.