Efficacy of automated hand sanitiser dispensers in a teaching hospital

Hannah K Walker, K Parker, AG Gow
Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Background: Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are routinely used in healthcare establishments worldwide to reduce infection transmission. The volume of sanitiser dispensed has been shown to affect the efficacy of the hand hygiene event. Aim: To assess whether the dispensed volume fulfils FDA requirements and if the implementation of a role in maintaining the sanitisers improved dispenser efficacy. Methods: Samples were collected from 15 automated dispensers in a veterinary teaching hospital. Samples were collected daily on 6 consecutive days. This was repeated immediately following the assignment of a role to monitor and service the sanitisers, and again 8 months post implementation of the role. Results: Of the 270 aliquots collected, 54 (20%) and 216 (80%) were <1 ml and >1 ml, respectively. The mean volume dispensed in a single aliquot was significantly different from the target (1.2 ml). The volumes of sanitiser dispensed and the number of aliquots <1 ml did not change significantly between the three time points. Conclusion: This study suggests that there is a high risk of inadequate hand sanitation when using automated dispensers, as a result of the inadequate volumes dispensed. Using dispensers automated to dispense larger volumes of sanitiser and encouraging self-reporting of perceived malfunctions may reduce these risks more than implementing a dispenser servicing role.

Figure 1. Collection of an aliquot of hand sanitiser onto a pre-weighed polyethylene grip seal bag.
Figure 1. Collection of an aliquot of hand sanitiser onto a pre-weighed polyethylene grip seal bag.

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