Clean Hands Save Lives: Impact of Hand Hygiene in Nursing Homes

Mar 02, 2018

Clean Hands Save Lives-

As the baby-boomer population ages and requires more care, it’s important that infection control practices in nursing homes keep up with the influx of patients, especially since 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. Infections are very common in long-term care facilities and represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality among institutionalized elderly individuals

Clean Hands Save LivesA recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control evaluated the impact of a multifaceted hand hygiene program in nursing homes. The intervention group used hand hygiene-related measures, including increased access to hand sanitizer through pocket-sized containers and new dispensers, plus more informational displays. The researchers assessed hand-hygiene practices by measuring hand sanitizer consumption and evaluating the incidence rate of acute respiratory infections and acute gastroenteritis.

Here are the findings of the study:
  • The intervention group used more hand sanitizer over the one-year study period
  • The intervention group experienced significantly lower mortality rates — 2.10 per 100 residents per month as compared to 2.65 per 100 residents per month in the control group
  • The intervention group also experienced lower antibiotic prescriptions at 5 defined daily doses per 100 resident days versus the control group's 5.8 defined daily doses per 100 resident days
  • Hospitalizations did not differ between the two groups
What does this mean?

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. When a facility implements a successful hand hygiene program, it creates a continuous reinforcement and training platform that guides user to proper hand hygiene, reducing the spread of germs.

To learn more about proper hand hygiene, click here. To implement an effective hand hygiene program like Compass® by Betco®, the only dispensing system that guides you to proper hand hygiene, click here.

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