How does hospital patient room design affect HAI rates?

A hospital's infrastructure, including accessibility of antiseptic hand rub dispensers and single-or multi-bed patient rooms, can influence healthcare-associated colonization and infection rates, according to a study in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control.

Researched examined PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from 1990 to 2015. They identified three studies focusing on the accessibility of antiseptic hand rub dispensers; and nine studies focusing on single-patient rooms' impact on healthcare-associated colonization and infection rates as compared to multi-bed patient rooms or an open ward design.

Each of the three studies focusing on the hand rub dispensers showed a significant improvement in hand hygiene compliance when the dispensers were placed near the patient bed.

Of the nine studies focusing on patient room design, six studies showed single-patient rooms were associated with reduced healthcare-associated colonization and infection rates, while the remaining three found that single-patient rooms are neither a protective nor a risk factor.

"Implementation of single-patient rooms and easily accessible hand rub dispensers located near the patient's bed are beneficial for infection control and are useful parts of a multifaceted strategy for reducing healthcare-associated colonization and infections," study authors concluded.

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