Hand Sanitizers Not Readily Accessible

By Mike McEvoy
EMS Editor

One in five U.S. healthcare facilities fails to have hand sanitizers at every point of patient care, according to a study published this year in the American Journal of Infection Control. Researchers invited 2,238 facilities to take part in a self-assessment survey; 168 responded. Of those, most had advanced or intermediate level progress towards the WHO recommendations. The “Clean Care Is Safer Care” campaign was launched by the WHO in 2009 and included a set of materials to support improved hand hygiene. Key among the recommendations was employers providing alcohol-based hand sanitizers at every point of patient care. Health care associated infections (HAIs) are estimated to kill 100,000 Americans annually and add a $33 billion dollar expense to already spiraling costs. Healthcare worker hands are the leading source of bacterial transmission. The researchers concluded that further improvements are achievable and require embedding hand hygiene into the organizational safety climate. How does your department stack up?


Allegranzi B, Conway L, Larson E, Pittet D. Status of the implementation of the World Health Organization multimodal hand hygiene strategy in United States of America health care facilities. Am J Inf Control.  2014;42(3):224-230.

MIKE McEVOY, PhD, NRP, RN, CCRN is the EMS Coordinator for Saratoga County, NY and the Fire Engineering EMS editor. He is a nurse clinician in the cardiac surgical ICU at Albany Medical Center in New York where he also co-chairs the hospital resuscitation committee. Mike is a paramedic supervisor for Clifton Park & Halfmoon Ambulance and the chief medical officer for West Crescent Fire Department. He is an EMS Section Board Member for the International Association of Fire Chiefs and a popular speaker at Fire, EMS, and medical conference worldwide.

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