Association between use of hand hygiene products and rates of health care-associated infections in a large university hospital in Norway.
Am J Infect Control. 2009 May;37(4):311-7
Authors: Herud T, Nilsen RM, Svendheim K, Harthug S
BACKGROUND: An association between use of hand hygiene products and health care-associated infection rates was investigated in a large Norwegian university hospital. METHODS: We conducted an ecologic study by combining data from purchasing and admission systems with data from 32 point prevalence surveys (27,248 patients) in 1998-2005. Data on purchase of hand disinfectants and soap, and patient-days, were collected for 20 bed wards similar to those of the prevalence surveys. RESULTS: The prevalence of infections was 7.1%. We found no significant decline in overall infections (P = .19), but use of hand hygiene products significantly increased from 28.5 L per 1000 patients-days in 1998 to 43.3 L per 1000 patient-days in 2005 (P < .001). After examining a linear dose-response relation between use and infection rates, we observed a borderline significant decline in infections from 8% to 6% with increased use of hand hygiene products (P = .05). This association appeared stronger for wards that were registered with infections >9% at study start in 1998 (P < .001). CONCLUSION: These data suggests that infection rates may be reflected by amount of hand hygiene products used. Quantification of such products over time may serve as an indicator for hand hygiene performance in hospitals.
PMID: 18945514 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]