Super hand sanitizer, disinfectant saved hospitals $1.2M

Using a stronger and more persistent agent for sanitizing and disinfectant has helped save $1.2 million at four hospitals in Virginia and Tennessee, reports Healthcare Finance News.

Hospitals, as a whole, have struggled to change their culture to reduce infections through additional handwashing. VHHA Services, a subsidiary of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, helped implement the use of more persistent hand-sanitizing lotion and surface disinfectants. In this pilot project, hospital workers were asked to sanitize their hands at the start of the workday and every four hours, as well as follow the hand hygiene guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Using the stronger santizer and disinfectant reduced the infection rate per 1,000 patient admissions at the four participating hospitals by an average of 41.5 percent, without incurring any additional capital costs.

"Although healthcare-acquired infections are often caused by multiple factors, this significant reduction indicates that a correlation may exist between these products and reduced environmental contamination," said Rebecca Bartles, manager of the infection control program at Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee. Infection rates dropped more than 32 percent during the three months of the pilot project and dropped further once the program was expanded to other portions of the hospital, according to a VHHA press release.

For more:

- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the press release

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the workers were asked to only sanitize their hands at the beginning of the workday and every four hours thereafter.