New research has found a direct correlation between the amount of alcohol handwash supplied to a ward and reductions in the rate of hospital acuqired MRSA infections.
A study by University College London (UCL), in collaboration with the Health Protection Agency, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Hand-Hygiene Liaison Group, discovered that rates of MRSA infection are cut by 1% with each extra millilitre of alcohol hand rub supplied per patient per day.
These findings are the results of an independent evaluation of the cleanyourhands campaign to boost hygiene on hospital wards and were presented at this year’s Federation of Infection Societies conference in Cardiff.
The National Patient Safety Agency started co-ordinating this campaign in 2004 and rolled it out to 187 acute NHS trusts in England and Wales.
Dr Sheldon Stone, lead author of the evaluation at UCL, said: “Our study shows that hand hygiene lowers hospital superbugs, and our message to healthcare workers is: ‘one ml. one percent’.
He added, “The findings also serve as a reminder that we should be washing our hands in the home and workplace. Winter is the season when colds and flus abound, and people can protect themselves and stop germs from spreading by frequently washing their hands.”
So, this research tells us what we knew already. Greater levels of hygiene reduce infection. Common sense really, isn’t it?