To up patient compliance with hand hygiene, consider ease of use, study says

Hand hygiene is an important aspect of infection prevention in any care setting, and patients are no exception. However, ease of use of and accessibility to some hand hygiene products may preclude patients from properly cleaning their hands.

 

In a study in the American Journal of Infection Control, researchers tested three hand sanitizer products — a pushdown pump bottle, a pocket-sized bottle with a reclosable lid and hand wipes — with 88 hospital patients and long-term care facility residents.

Nearly all participants (86 of 88, or 97.7 percent) preferred the pump bottle, and the remaining two preferred the small bottle with the reclosable lid. Eight patients were unable to open the small bottle's lid, however. Additionally, none of the participants preferred the wipes — comments revealed concerns about where to dispose of the used wipes and the lack of moister in the wipes.

Researchers also compared the time it took patients to access each type of product. The pushdown pump bottles took the least amount of time to access (0.45 seconds) compared with the smaller bottle (3.86 seconds) or wipes (5.66 seconds).

"Feasibility of product use could be a deciding factor in engaging patients in their personal hand hygiene practice," the study authors wrote.

The study concludes, "In efforts to increase patient engagement and self-management of patient hand hygiene, infection preventionists can use results of studies similar to this to implement products that are patient-centered."

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