Improving patients' hand hygiene

Improving patient hand hygiene has been shown to reduce the transmission of MRSA and respiratory viruses. Encouraging hand sanitisation twice a day for patients and their relatives reduced MRSA infections by 51% (Gagné et al, JHI, 2007). Cheng et al (JHI, 2007) showed similar results: where patients sanitised their hands every 4 hours to prevent respiratory virus infection outbreaks.

Despite the impact these interventions can have, patient hand hygiene is often overlooked. So, how can we improve patient hand hygiene? Giving them ready access to hand hygiene products is an important step forward.

In a UK general hospital, implementing a patient hand hygiene bundle increased patient hand hygiene compliance from 13% to 60% (Loveday et al, AM J Infect Cont, 2021).

The intervention consisted of three key elements:

  • Hand wipe pack of 40 wipes provided to each patient.
  • Patient information card advising patients when to perform hand hygiene.
  • Staff protocol to encourage patients to clean their hands.

Hand wipes clean as well as disinfect and Clinell Antimicrobial Hand Wipes have been shown to be as effective as soap and water (Wilkinson et al, JHI, 2017), making them an ideal patient hand hygiene solution.

 

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