U.S. News & World Report recently published an article showing that nursing home mortality and rates of antibiotic prescriptions can be reduced when staff, residents and visitors have consistent hand-hygiene protocols.
A one-year study in France of 26 nursing homes (half received the intervention and half were the control group) found a lower death rate with the intervention group, 2.10 deaths compared to 2.65 in the control group per 100 residents monthly.
Antibiotic prescription rates were also lower in the intervention group with 5 daily doses compared to 5.8 daily doses. Researchers said there was a 30% lower mortality rate in the intervention group.
“It is crucial that we increase efforts to bolster infection prevention programs in nursing homes because residents of these facilities have more underlying health conditions and are more vulnerable to serious complications from infections, said Janet Haas, president of the 2018 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.
Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning your hands can prevent the spread of germs, including those that are resistant to antibiotics and are becoming difficult, if not impossible, to treat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed great hand hygiene tools for healthcare providers, residents and patients. Check out their Clean Hands Count video. The CDC Clean Hands Count campaign also offers brochures, fact sheets, posters, educational opportunities and infographics.
For more information on our efforts to improve hand hygiene as a means for infection prevention, visit our Web site.