Antibiotic prescriptions drop in nursing homes with hand hygiene intervention

A multifaceted hand hygiene intervention lowered mortality and antibiotic prescriptions in nursing homes, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers conducted a two-arm cluster randomized trial in France. Thirteen nursing homes were allocated randomly to implement the intervention and 13 control nursing homes did not implement the intervention.

The intervention involved implementing a bundle of hand hygiene-related measures over one year, including increasing availability of alcohol-based handrub, hand hygiene promotion, staff education and local work groups.

The study shows:

1. The overall handrub consumption was higher in the intervention group over the one-year intervention period.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. However, hospitalizations did not differ between the two groups.

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