Surveillance of the consumption of alcohol-based handrub in hospitals in Piedmont, Italy: an observational study, 2017-2021
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Department of Sciences of Public Health and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
University of Turin, Turin, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A965
Background and Objective: Hand hygiene (HH) is one of the most important measures to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased attention to infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, particularly regarding hand hygiene. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on alcohol-based handrub consumption (AHC) in the region of Piedmont, in Northern Italy. Methods: Data on AHC were collected as part of a wider regional IPC program, promoted annually by the Regional Health Department, which requires all public trusts to report data on indicators of IPC activities. However, in 2020-2021, data were requested directly by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and Ministry of Health. AHC data were collected annually from 25 hospitals/trusts for the years 2017-2021, overall and according to department type: medicine, surgery and intensive care (IC). AHC was expressed as liters per patient-day (l/pd) per year. Trends in AHC were investigated and the median for the three-year period 2017-2019 (pre-COVID) was compared with the median of the years 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic period. Results: Median AHC doubled in 2020 compared to the pre-COVID three-year period (14 vs 29,9 l/pd). In the medicine departments, consumption tripled (10.6 vs 30.3 l/pd) while in surgery and IC it doubled (10.3 vs 22.5 l/pd and 41.8 vs 92.9 l/pd, respectively). In 2021, AHC decreased (overall 22.1 l/pd, medicine 20.6 l/pd, surgery 19.1 l/pd and IC 60.6 l/pd), however still remaining higher than in the pre-COVID three-year period. Conclusions: There was a strong increase in 2020 in AHC in all three types of ward considered in the analysis, but this trend was not maintained in 2021 despite the persistence of the pandemic context. Further efforts must therefore be directed towards maintaining awareness of IPC practices, regardless of COVID-19.