Frost & Sullivan's new report, "Hand Hygiene Champions the Cause of Infection Control" available from Research & Markets, says that a reduction in healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) could drive an uptake of hand hygiene products.
After booming sales of hand hygiene products from 2008 to 2009, the reports says that volume sales plummeted from 2009 to 2010, before gradually recovering. The hand hygiene market has expanded to include hand hygiene compliance monitoring technologies that, while still at a nascent stage, offer promising growth opportunities for companies in the infection prevention and control industry.
Outbreaks such as enterohaemorrhagic e. coli (EHEC) continue to highlight the importance of hand hygiene in containing infectious diseases, notes the analyst of this research. The threat of mutated viral strains and increasing antimicrobial-resistant infections has underlined the need for infection control. The World Health Organization (WHO) regards hand hygiene as an essential tool for the prevention of nosocomial infections. Improved compliance in hand hygiene, with the proper use of alcohol-based handrubs, can reduce nosocomial infection rates by approximately 40 percent. Therefore, the reduction in the incidence of nosocomial infections is a major driver in the growth of the hand hygiene market, according to the report.
Market penetration will not be easily achievable, according to the report, as the onus of proving the efficacy of the product in preventing HAIs and providing ultimate cost savings for healthcare institutions lies with the manufacturers. Hand hygiene compliance has never been 100 percent, remarks the report's analyst. This, together with the fact that hand hygiene compliance monitoring as well as HAI incidence reporting is yet to be standardized across the European Union, is making it difficult for manufacturers to prove the quantifiable return on investment for an effective hand hygiene program, the report asserts.