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Informative Articles on Handwashing

Pneumonia is an infection seeded in many other infections. It has more than 30 causes and kills 50,000 persons a year. The coronavirus, COVID-19, develops into its own variation of pneumonia, one of many that is not protected by the pneumonia vaccine.

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Dr. Emily Landon, the infectious disease doctor at the University of Chicago Medical Center, has spent most of the last decade improving hospital handwashing using data to motivate staff. [Link] Here she clearly explains Social Distancing and its critical nature in slowing the COVID-19 cases to a level that can be managed with available hospital beds and equipment as well as supplies.

Handwashing transparency valued by Millennials

Those foodservice operators who invested in handwash monitoring because of Norovirus concerns now add another, even more topical and contagious virus to their hit-list, Coronavirus. While these pathogens have many technical differences the two viruses share the property of living on hands and surfaces for a day or more.

Coronavirus joins Noro, the Common Cold and the Flu, making viruses the dominant pathogen type driving staff and student absenteeism.

Eclipsed by Coronavirus media exaggerations and unforgivable politicalization, are the benefits of the public’s emerging better behaviors regarding hand cleanliness. The legacy of the Coronavirus outbreak in the USA is likely to be that it saved more lives than those lost to Covid-19.

Infection Budgeting

Add facts to ignite a patient priority for electronic handwash monitoring

Tight budgets are perhaps the easiest way to avoid change and hide behind a culture of the status quo. Facing the budget process with evidence is a game changer. Facts driven by electronic handwashing monitoring can convert the budget hawks into allies for continuous, measured improvement. The budget becomes their vehicle to justify and deliver a new level of patient safety via increased handwashing compliance.

Infection Evidence Confirms Value Of Frequent Caregiver Handwashing

Electronic monitoring drives handwashing up and HAIs down

Recent caregiver research provides the previously missing evidence between increased handwashing and decreased patient infections.

Complacency paralyzes progress in hospitals & nursing homes

The combined annual death rate from Healthcare Acquired Infections, Acute Care and Long-Term Care (LTC), adds up to 479,000. This disaster, a daily disaster, illustrates the Normalcy Bias where improbability blocks reality and reason.

Handwashing becomes the backstop for the surface contamination in nursing homes

Dr. Kelly Reynolds, University of Arizona researcher, shares her experience in long-term care where the homelike environment challenges staff to keep pace with surface cleanliness standards. She finds that busy C-Suite decision makers appreciate converting complicated research studies into pictures.

APIC 2019 Handwashing Preview

Handwashing remains a process basically out of control in healthcare. There are no clear standards, thus no variance reports and no objective data to reward success or discipline nonperformance.

Synergies pay off between water & new process control technologies

Water is obviously a key element of a good handwash, especially in the era of controlling the spread of C. diff. As in most everything else, some manufacturers have invested more than others, in this case to serve up the wash-ready water with utmost speed, reliability, safety, savings and with easy-access operational data.

Don’t let research-reading-fatigue blur this game-changer

It is commonly accepted that increased hand hygiene compliance can reduce HAI rates. There is an abundance of evidence that electronic monitoring of hand hygiene does increase compliance but this study goes that important step into new territory.

Would the owner of the problem please step forward

APIC 2018 provided the venue to check in with caregivers as to why handwashing compliance numbers continue to fall short of a safe level. (The research was sponsored by Chicago Faucets, creators of the best-in-class HyTronic™ faucet with its integrated hand-held data gathering device, Commander™.)

The Joint Commission’s new zero-tolerance standard for handwashing is proving to be the end of the line for many facilities who have long accepted the flawed compliance standard perpetuated by the misinformation of observation-only monitoring.

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Who owns healthcare handwashing?

All caregivers care. All wash their hands. Their patients or residents are important to them or they would not work in this challenging field. This doesn’t mean that they meet the standards of care each and every moment of every shift. Drifting off the path of handwashing policy happens easily because the standards are not clearly understood and become further blurred by lack of enforcement. Caregivers take comfort from the commonly overstated reporting based on the seriously flawed observational protocols.

Providers pay the price for dishonest compliance reporting

Handwashing For Life® serves as an Ambassador for The Joint Commission’s Targeted Solutions Tool®. Behavior change and the shared goal of sustainable handwashing compliance brought the two organizations together. This new surveyor standard of zero-tolerance is a multiplier for measurement, in keeping with the overarching standard of Continuous Improvement. It is a call to immediate action.

Full Performance Criteria

Electronic faucets on handsinks serve many handwashing functions from water saving to life saving. Well known for their no-touch hygiene factor, many other advantages are often overlooked. Poorly engineered versions have proven to be unreliable and not worth their price. Cheap offshore options used in many public restrooms taint the image of the category.

Healthcare providers in most cases are rightfully proud of their patient and resident care. After all they likely see their operation as a finely tuned network of policies and procedures focused on their clients' wellness. It is a human behavior to love what we create. This fosters further operational enthusiasm but can dangerously conceal important realities and diminish objectivity. This creates a condition summarized as the “ugly baby” barrier to accepting reality.