Putting hand sanitizer in high-traffic areas ups use 528%

A hospital relocated its hand sanitizer dispenser from the side of the lobby to in the middle of the lobby and saw use skyrocket 528 percent, according to a study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Greenville (S.C.) Memorial Hospital conducted a three-week experiment observing more than 6,600 visitors use the hand sanitizer. The location changed weekly, with the hospital testing the following locations: in front of the information desk, in the middle of the entrance inside the revolving door and between the main revolving door and the side door to the lobby.

Visitors were 5.28 times more likely to use sanitizer when the dispenser was in the middle of the lobby. Additionally, visitors were more likely to use sanitizer in the afternoon or when they came into the hospital in a group as opposed to solo.

"Visitors represent an additional vector by which healthcare-associated diseases can be transmitted to patients, and thus visitor hand hygiene is an opportunity to further improve patient safety," said the study authors. "The study suggests many future research opportunities, including investigation into the effect of group dynamics and social pressure on visitor hand sanitizer utilization to identify strategies for improving visitor hand hygiene."

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