Proper hand hygiene is acknowledged as the most critical element of an adequate infection control program in the oral healthcare setting. However, adherence to proper hand hygiene protocols is often lacking. Poor compliance with hand hygiene protocols has been attributed to such factors as lack of time, hand irritation, hand dryness, forgetfulness, skepticism over importance, understaffing, perceived low risk of cross-infection, inconvenience, and the belief gloves alone offer protection. In the medical environment the use of alcohol-based hand rubs now represent the preferred method of performing hand hygiene when delivering non-surgical care. In this study we compared the costs associated with traditional hand washing against an alcohol-based hand rub protocol in the dental setting. The results indicate an alcohol-based hand rub protocol is less costly and less time consuming when compared to traditional handwashing in the dental setting, creating a new paradigm for hand hygiene in the dental office.
Huber, M. A., Holton, R. H., & Terezhalmy, G. T. (2006). Cost analysis of hand hygiene using antimicrobial soap and water versus an alcohol-based hand rub. Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, 7(2), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tripleo.2005.02.001