Reduction in ventilator associated pneumonia in a mixed intensive care unit after initiation of a novel hand hygiene program

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Purpose:Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) impact 10% of hospitalized patients. Some of these infections result from bacterial cross contamination and poor compliance with guidelines (Pittet D: Compliance with hand disinfection and its impact on hospital-acquired infections. J HospInfect 48 Suppl A:S40-S46, 2001); (Watanakunakorn C, Wang C, Hazy J: An observational study of hand washing and infection control practices by healthcare workers. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 19:858-860, 1998). Contamination of provider hands may be a modifiable risk factor. We instituted a novel multimodal system designed to improve hand hygiene by ICU providers.Materials and Methods:A before and after study design was used to evaluate the impact on the incidence of CRBSI and VAP of a multi-modal program incorporating education, performance feedback, and a body worn hand hygiene device. Compliance was communicated quarterly. Primary outcomes were CRBSIs and VAPs per 1,000 line days or per 1,000 ventilator days and compliance rates. Secondary outcomes were hospital length of stay and mortality.Results:A total of 1, 262 and 1,331 patients were evaluated during consecutive 12 month periods. VAP per 1000 vent days were significantly reduced after introduction of the program [3.7 vs. 6.9] P < .01. The reduction in CRBSI per 1000 line days was not significant [1.5 vs. 2.6], P = .09. Observed hand hygiene increased during the study period. There was no significant difference in mortality.Conclusions:A novel multi-modal hand hygiene system resulted in a reduction in VAP. Provider hand contamination during patient care in the ICU is a modifiable risk factor for reducing ventilator associated pneumonias.

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