Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Communication in healthcare settings has recently received significant attention in the literature. However, there continues to be a large gap in current understanding of the effectiveness of different communication channels used in acute healthcare settings, particularly in the context of infection prevention and control (IPC). AIM: To explore and evaluate the main communication channels used within hospitals to communicate with healthcare workers (HCWs) and to propose practical recommendations. METHODS: Critical review of the main communication channels used within acute health care to communicate information to HCWs, and analysis of their impact on practice. FINDINGS: The analysis covers verbal communications, standardization via guidelines, education and training, electronic communications and marketing strategies. Traditional communication channels have not been successful in changing and sustaining best practice in IPC, but newer approaches (electronic messages and marketing) also have pitfalls. CONCLUSION: A few simple recommendations are made in relation to the development, implementation and evaluation of communications to HCWs; top-down vs bottom-up communications; and the involvement of HCWs, particularly ward personnel.

Original publication




Journal article


J Hosp Infect

Publication Date





25 - 29


Attitude of Health Personnel, Critical Care, Cross Infection, Health Facilities, Hospital Administration, Humans, Infection Control