Use of alcohol hand rub (AHR) at ward entrances and use of soap and AHR by patients and visitors: a study in 27 wards in nine acute NHS trusts
Besser, Sarah Jane
Ward procurement of hand hygiene consumables is a proxy measure of hand hygiene compliance. The proportion of this due to use of alcohol hand rub (AHR) at ward entrances, and bedside use of consumables by patients and visitors, is unknown. Thirty-six hours of direct observation of bedside hand hygiene behaviours by healthcare workers (HCWs), patients and visitors on 27 wards in nine hospitals was undertaken. AHR containers from ten ward entrances were collected for four days. Mean daily volume used was compared with mean daily volume procured. Only 4% of bedside soap and AHR use was by visitors. Patients used neither. An average 21% (range 7—38%) of all AHR procured by wards was used at ward entrances. Non-HCW use of soap or AHR at the bedside is low. Ward entrance use of AHR is modest but varies. Hand hygiene intervention studies using consumables as an outcome should assess and adjust for such usage.