Ensuring alcohol-based handrub is available at the point-of-care improves hand hygiene compliance.
Alcohol-based handrub should be easily accessible, generally within arm's reach of where patient care or treatment is taking place.
Dispensers act as a visual cue for hand hygiene behaviour. Placement of alcohol-based handrub needs to be consistent and reliable. Clinical staff should assist with the decision-making process regarding placement of alcohol-based handrub, as they generally best understand the workflow in their area.
Where possible, alcohol-based handrub should be placed at the foot of every bed or within each patient cubicle. When designing new healthcare facilities, consideration should be given to appropriate placement of alcohol-based handrubs so that healthcare workers can easily see and reach them.
Alcohol-based handrub dispensers should not be placed next to sinks, as this can cause confusion for healthcare workers who may think they need to rinse their hands with water after using alcohol-based handrub.
The following locations are suggested for placement of alcohol-based handrub:
- On the end of every patient bed (fixed or removable brackets)
- Affixed to mobile work trolleys (for example, intravenous, drug and dressing trolleys)
- High staff traffic areas (for example, nurses' station, pan room, medication room and patient room entrance)
- Other multi-use patient-care areas, such as examination rooms and outpatient consultation rooms
- Entrances to each ward, outpatient clinic or department
- Public areas such as waiting rooms, receptions areas, hospital foyers, near elevator doors in high traffic areas.
A clear decision needs to be made about whose responsibility it is to replace empty alcohol-based handrub bottles. Workplace agreements or job descriptions may need to be changed to accommodate prompt replacement of these bottles. Alcohol-based handrub should never be decanted from one bottle into another as this can cause contamination.