20% of US Hospitals Missing Critical Hand Hygiene Station

One in five U.S. healthcare facilities is missing alcohol-based hand sanitizer at some points of care, according to a study from the Columbia University School of Nursing in New York City and the World Health Organization, published in the American Journal of Infection Control

Researchers surveyed 168 facilities across the country and found only 77.5 percent had alcohol-based sanitizer continuously available at all points of care.

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The problem also appeared to extend to leadership, with 10 percent of facilities reporting senior leaders had not made an explicit commitment to hand hygiene. In addition, only about 50 percent of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory care facilities and long-term care facilities had appropriated funds for hand hygiene training, according to a news release.

Hospitals with higher staffing levels of infection preventionists had better hand hygiene policies and practices, according to the journal article.

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