Defining a Minimum Standard of Number of ABHR Dispensers Per Patient Bed

Kuster, et al. (2021) state, "Accessibility to alcohol-based handrub (ABHR) dispenser is crucial to improve compliance to hand hygiene (HH), being offered as wall-mounted dispensers (ABHR-Ds), and/or pocket bottles. Nevertheless, information on the distribution and density of ABHR-Ds and their impact on HH have hardly been studied. Institutions such as the World Health Organisation or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not provide guidance. The Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI) from Germany recommends an overall density of > 0.5 dispensers per patient bed. We aimed to investigate current conditions in hospitals to develop a standard on the minimal number of ABHR-D."

Between 2007 and 2009/2019, the researchers provided a questionnaire to 178 hospitals participating in the Swissnoso National Surveillance Network to evaluate number and location of ABHR-Ds per bed in acute-care hospitals, and compared the data with consumption and compliance with HH.

110 of the 178 (62%) hospitals provided data representing approximately 20,000 hospital beds. 83% hospitals provided information on both the total number of ABHR-Ds and patient beds, with a mean of 2.4 ABHR-Ds per bed (range, 0.4–22.1). While most hospitals (84%) had dispensers located at the room entrance, 47% reported also locations near or at the bed. Additionally, pocket-sized dispensers (100 mL) are available in 97% of hospitals.

Swiss hospitals provide 2.4 dispensers per bed, much more than governmental recommendation. The first study on the number of ABHR-Ds in hospitals may help to define a minimal standard for national and international recommendations.

Reference: Kuster S, et al. Handrub dispensers per acute care hospital bed: a study to develop a new minimum standard. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. Vol. 10, article number 93. 2021.