We practice bare below the elbows (BBE) as an infection adjunct at Virginia Commonwealth University. The measure was initially launched and championed by Dr. Michael Edmond, now at the University of Iowa.
Our compliance with BBE practice varies and can be as high as 70+%.
BBE varies by season, with decreased compliance observed (50%) in the winter months when outdoor temperatures decrease, as reported in our most recent publication in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. The plot of seasonal temperature and BBE compliance tells it all. Due to copyright restrictions I am unable to reproduce it here.
Facilities management keeps the indoor ambient temperature steady, with little variance by season.
The solution, for those that still are cold while practicing BBE?
We have adopted a team vest, for students, residents, doctors and nurses, the concept is nicely summarized here.