The impact of hand hygiene on geriatric homes

Generally the health of the elderly is more vulnerable. An intestinal infection or a respiratory virus can lead to more complications and a longer recovery.

80% of all infections are transmitted through the hands. Washing your hands can prevent the transmission of respiratory viruses, influenza virus, enterovirus and respiratory syncytial virus, among others, as well as gastroenteritis, hepatitis and other more serious diseases. Infections are very common in long-term care centers and represent an important cause of contagion and mortality among residents of geriatric centers.

A study published recently in the American Journal of Infection Control evaluated the impact of implementing a specific program of preventive actions with hand hygiene in nursing homes.

During the implementation of the program, health professionals took measures related to the hygiene of the hands, provided greater access to disinfecting hands through pocket bottles and new dispensers, as well as installing information screens and training programs.

The researchers evaluated the hand hygiene practices measuring the consumption of hand sanitizers and evaluating the rate of incidence of acute respiratory infections and acute gastroenteritis.

Conclusions of the study:

There was an increase in the use of hand sanitizer by health personnel during the one-year study period.

The mortality rate was significantly reduced: from 2.10 per 100 residents per month, compared to 2.65 per 100 residents per month in the control group.

Healthcare personnel also experienced lower prescriptions of antibiotics at 5 daily doses defined for 100 days resident versus the daily defined doses of 5.8 of the control group for 100 resident days.

Hospitalizations did not make a  difference between the two groups.

What does it mean?

Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. When a center implements a hand hygiene program increases the consumption of disinfectants, and in return achieves a more protected space for residents and workers, reduces costs in antibiotic treatments, avoids labor losses and improves the quality of the service.
If you plan to implement improvements with regard to accessing the hand sanitizer to your business,  we advise you to choose the best options offered by the market in disinfectants with sanitary registration and dispensers.