2CHG.300A controversial new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association is prompting some hospitals to reconsider expenditures on expensive antimicrobial wipes used to bathe ICU patients as a defense against hospital-acquired infections, according to an article published online by HealthLeaders Media.

The study, conducted over a 12-month period at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was led by infectious disease researcher, Michael Noto, MD, whose team evaluated the use of disposable washcloths containing chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) in 10,000 patients in five ICUs. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found no statistically significant difference in the rates of central line bloodstream (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract (CAUTI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) or Clostridium difficile infections.

The researchers’ findings are important because they point to a possible opportunity for significant savings for some hospitals that may be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on CHG products each year. The study suggests that hospitals might be wiser to invest in infection prevention strategies that are absolutely proven to work — like hand washing.

To access the study, Chlorhexidine Bathing and Health Care–Associated Infections: A Randomized Clinical Trial, click here.