Man washing hands

As the baby-boomer population ages and requires more care, Contagion Live reports that infection control practices in nursing homes will need to keep up with the influx of patients.

That said, the authors of a recent study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, evaluated the impact of a multifaceted hand-hygiene program in nursing homes. The intervention group used hand hygiene-related measures, including increased access to hand gel through pocket-sized containers and new dispensers, plus more informational displays. The researchers assessed hand-hygiene practices by measuring hand-gel consumption and evaluating the incidence rate of acute respiratory infections and acute gastroenteritis.

The study consisted of a two-arm cluster randomized trial in France. Thirteen nursing homes were chosen randomly to implement the intervention and 13 control nursing homes did not implement the intervention, according to a Becker’s Hospital Review article. The findings of the study included:

• The intervention group used more hand-rub gel over the one-year study period
• The intervention group experienced significantly lower mortality rates — 2.10 per 100 residents per month as compared to 2.65 per 100 residents per month in the control group
• The intervention group also experienced lower antibiotic prescriptions at 5 defined daily doses per 100 resident days versus the control group's 5.8 defined daily doses per 100 resident days
• Hospitalizations did not differ between the two groups