One in five U.S. health facilities don't put hand sanitizer everywhere needed

By Healthcare Facilities Today
March 10, 2014

Approximately one in five U.S. health facilities don’t make alcohol-based hand sanitizer available at every point of care, missing a critical opportunity to prevent healthcare-associated infections, according to new research from the Columbia University School of Nursing and the World Health Organization (WHO) published in the American Journal of Infection Control

The study, which examined compliance with WHO hand-hygiene guidelines in the U.S., also found that only about half of the hospitals, ambulatory care and long-term care facilities had set aside funds in their budgets for hand-hygiene training, according to an article on the Newswise website.

A research team surveyed compliance with WHO hand-hygiene guidelines at a sample of 168 facilities in 42 states and Puerto Rico. Overall, 77.5% of the facilities reported that alcohol-based sanitizer was continuously available at every point of care, the study said. 

About one in 10 facilities reported that senior leaders such as the chief executive officer, medical director and director of nursing didn’t make a clear commitment to support hand hygiene improvement, according to the study.

“The survey also shows that facilities participating in the WHO global hand-hygiene campaign achieved a higher level of progress,” co-author Prof. Didier Pittet said in the article. 

“While hand-hygiene compliance is the responsibility of every health care worker, U.S. health care facilities would certainly benefit from coordinated national and sub-national efforts aimed at hand-hygiene improvement. They would also gather innovative ideas and trans-cultural approaches by participating in global efforts such as the WHO campaign.”

Read the article.



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