Non-intensive care units show a gap in patient-side dispenser systems.
In medical facilities, the immediate opportunity for hygienic hand disinfection at the point of care is a vital prerequisite for high compliance. There is increased need for hygienic hand disinfection directly in environments where patients reside. When hospital staff are required to go out of their way to use a hand hygiene station, their efficiency drops, and if they are unable to use a hand hygiene station, patient safety faces increased risk.
Acting correctly when placing dispensers for hand disinfection
The latest hand hygiene recommendation from the Commissions for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention at the Robert Koch Institute (KRINKO) defines concrete guidelines for clinics and hospitals regarding the number and locations of dispensing systems. For example, one dispenser per patient bed must be provided in intensive care and dialysis units, and one dispenser for every two patient beds must be provided in non-intensive units.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also requires arm-length accessibility from the patient bed in order to sustainably improve compliance and treatment quality.
Scientists investigate equipment level point-of-care dispensers
Theories exist, however, little was known about the practical implementation of the requirements for high compliance. A German research team was tasked to investigate and analyze disinfectant dispensers in patient surroundings within the framework of their scientific study. Of the 1357 German hospitals studied, 621 completed an online questionnaire to assess the current situation.
The results show a satisfactory result in hygiene-sensitive areas. 73.5 percent of intensive care units were equipped with hand disinfectant dispensers in the immediate vicinity of patients. However, the non-ICU areas produced a different result. In non-ICU areas, only every third hygiene dispenser was within reach of the nursing staff and doctors in most cases.
Due to the unique importance of hand hygiene for infection protection, the team of scientists are calling for the timely retrofitting of patient-side disinfectant dispensers in non-intensive units.
Source: Stiller, A. et al. Analysis of contemporary hospital infrastructure pertaining to infection prevention in Germany; Bundesgesundheitsblatt – Gesundheitsforschung – Gesundheitsschutz Ausgabe 8/2016