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You might think that keeping your hands clean with good-old-fashioned soap and water could never be improved upon. But, it can.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using alcohol-based handrubs as an addition to soap and water and gloves win add to patient safety and save more lives. Incorporating these handrubs into your facility's daily routine may involve a little work--mainly some basic training and changing practices.
The Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol, R.I., found success with alcohol rubs 14 years ago.
"From the start, we placed these gels where sinks were not available, such as on isolation carts, linen carts, medication carts and resident kitchens," said Adrienne Camara, infection control nurse for the veterans' home and chair of the Long Term Care section of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, an international organization with more than 110 chapters in the United States.
"We gave them to residents on precautions [of] who can be taught to use them, so they have them in their rooms," Camara said. "We placed them by the cafeteria lines, the break rooms and the dining rooms."
Even though a formal study has not been performed at the facility, anecdotal information does suggest that the hand gels have served their purpose. "I can say a gentleman with chronic eye infections that could not use the bathroom alone was given the …