"Strict" Hand Hygiene, Other Interventions Could Reduce Length of Stay, Costs

University of North Carolina researchers found several interventions, including "strict enforcement of hand hygiene," can reduce infections and mortality while improving costs, according to a UNC release.


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Three interventions were implemented in a pediatric intensive care unit:

Strict hand hygiene practices. These included requiring healthcare personnel to wash their hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based rub upon leaving or entering a patient's room, before putting on and taking off gloves and before and after touching any contaminated surfaces.

Intervention bundle for ventilator-associated pneumonia. The intervention bundle for preventing VAP includes elevating the patient's head while he or she is on a ventilator and daily oral care.

Intervention bundle of central-line catheters infections. The intervention bundle for preventing central-line complications include assessing whether a patient still needs a catheter twice a day.

Implementing these three interventions led to shorter patient stays, lowered patient mortality and cost savings of approximately $12,000 per patient. The researchers noted implementing these measures were cost-efficient.

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