Alcohol-based rub improves hand hygiene compliance by 36%

A study published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control examined the effect of alcohol-based surgical hand preparation on the quality and duration of the procedure as well as on surgical site infection prevention.

Researchers conducted a quasi-experimental study at a tertiary-care university hospital from April 1, 2017 to Nov. 1, 2017. They studied 56 cardiac and orthopedic surgical teams and 231 patients who underwent surgical procedures.

They implemented an intervention involving:

• Making alcohol-based handrubs available in the operating room
• Convincing and training surgical teams to use it
• Promoting direct observation of surgical hand preparation
• Providing aggregated feedback on the quality of the preparation

Researchers studied 534 surgical hand preparation events. For the 33 participants with full data available, they observed full compliance with all the steps predicted in the WHO technique in 0.03 percent of the events in the pre-intervention period and in 36.36 percent of the events in the intervention period.

Additionally, the duration of the hand preparation was 2.7 minutes in the intervention period,compared to 4.8 minutes in the pre-intervention period. However, the individual risk of developing an SSI did not significantly change between the pre-intervention and the intervention phase.

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