Shortened 15-second time for alcohol-based hand rub may improve hand hygiene compliance

In a study, published in the December issue of Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, researchers examined whether shortening the application time for alcohol-based hand rubs is safe and whether it improves compliance with the frequency of hand antisepsis actions.

The current recommended application time for hand rubs is 30 seconds. Researchers conducted experiments in a neonatal intensive care unit to determine the antimicrobial efficacy of hand rubs with an application time of 15 seconds. An independent observer also monitored the frequency of hand antisepsis actions during shifts.

Researchers found that all tested 15-second hand rubs showed equal or higher antimicrobial efficacy as compared to 30-second hand rubs. Also, researchers saw an increased frequency of hand antisepsis actions with 15-second hand rubs.

"Reducing the recommended time for hand antisepsis actions, using tested and well-evaluated hand rub formulations, may improve hand hygiene compliance in clinical practice," study authors concluded.

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