Background: Little is known about hand hygiene (HH) policies and practices in long-term care facilities (LTCF). Hence, we decided to study the frequency of HH related infection control (IC) gaps and the factors associated with it.
Methods: The Nebraska (NE) Infection Control Assessment and Promotion Program (ICAP) in collaboration with NE Department of Health and Human Services conducted in-person surveys and on-site observations to assess infection prevention and control programs (IPCP) in 30 LTCF from 11/2015 to 3/2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Infection Prevention and Control Assessment tool for LTCF was used for on-site interviews and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) Hospital IC Worksheet was used for observations. Gap frequencies were calculated for questions (6 on CDC survey and 8 on CMS worksheet) representing best practice recommendations (BPR). The factors studied for the association with the gaps included LTCF bed size (BS), hospital affiliation (HA), having trained infection preventionists (IP), and weekly hours (WH)/ 100 bed spent by IP on IPCP. Fishers exact test and Mann Whitney test were used for statistical analyses.
Results: HH related IC gap frequencies from on-site interviews are displayed in Figure 1. Only 6 (20%) LTCF reported having all 6 BPR in place and 10 (33%) having 5 BPR. LTCF with fewer gaps (5 to 6 BPR in place) appear more likely to have HA as compared to the LTCF with more gaps but the difference didnt reach statistical significance (37.5% vs. 7.1%, p=0.09). When analyzed separately for each gap, it was found that LTCF with HA are more likely to have a policy on preferential use of alcohol based hand rubs than the ones without HA. (85.7%, vs. 26.1% p=0.008). Several IC gaps were also identified during observations (Figure 2) with one of them being overall HH compliance of <80%. LTCF that have over 90% HH compliance are more likely to have higher median IP WH/100 beds dedicated towards IPCP as compared to the LTCFs with less than 90% compliance (16.4 vs. 4.4, p<0.05).
Conclusion: Many HH related IC gaps still exist in LTCF and require mitigation. Mitigation strategies may include encouraging LTCF to collaborate with IP at local acute care hospitals for guidance on IC activities and to increase dedicated IP times towards IPCP in LTCF.
S. Beach, None
M. Drake, None
T. Fitzgerald, None
E. Lyden, None
M. E. Rupp, None
M. Schwedhelm, None
M. Tierney, None
M. S. Ashraf, None