A terrific study from West Virginia University (WVU) and published in the American Journal of Infection Control, concluded that yes, you can ask your doctor to wash her hands.
And if you do, she’s more likely to do it.
Although she may not be happy about it.
In this study of 222 patients who were empowered by the study’s design to ask their clinicians to wash their hands, hand-washing went up from under 50 % (roughly what happens in the wild when doctors do simply what they want to do, which is, to be kind, an abysmally low rate) to 75 %, which is a substantial increase, although you have to wonder about the 25 % of doctors who still refused to wash their hands even when asked too – would not want to be married to one of them.
The patients were pretty happy with the outcomes.
Some doctors were not, however, arguing that it’s not a patient’s job to ask a physician to wash their hands.
Yes it is, although it shouldn’t be because doctors should be doing this on their own – First, no harm.