Informative Articles on Handwashing
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.
Dr. Landon’s Prescription On Handwashing
Dr. Emily Landon, pioneer in handwash monitoring, is the Executive Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention at the 633 bed University of Chicago Medical Center. She is Board Certified with a specialty in Infectious Disease and has a passion for saving lives through enhanced hand hygiene.
Originally published in the 11-20-17 edition of Food Safety News. Republished with permission.
Pathogens met their Waterloo as more than 400 culinary professionals staged a two day pursuit of the latest advances in nutrition and food safety. The annual campaign is sponsored by Martin Brothers, a regional distributor focused on the culinary needs of hospitals and nursing homes.
Hand sanitizer is everywhere these days; there are modern looking spheres in hospitals and restaurants, they come in foam and gel and, especially at Bath and Body Works, they come in a plethora of scents. Everywhere you turn there is hand sanitizer, which is usually good for killing germs and bacteria on your hands, 99.99% of germs to be exact. But that 0.01% can still get at you.
The Norovirus Threat
Data-driven continuous improvement for restaurants and hospitals
Hospitals have a great standard for handwashing as does FSMA. It’s Continuous Improvement. Mark Twain agrees, noting that “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”
Healthcare Kitchens & The Joint Commission
No wall dispensers. No problem.
Care areas without wall-hung alcohol hand sanitizer dispensers often escape the rigors of many RTLS and standalone hand hygiene monitoring systems. BioVigil has developed a product whereby hand sanitizer can be carried in the pocket of a caregiver and hand hygiene performance and compliance will still be monitored.
C. diff concerns led one hospital to a coaching system that automatically reminds the wearer of its badge to “wash” with the appropriate protocol.
Moving from a general population room where alcohol hand sanitizer is the standard to a C. diff room can easily result in a caregiver’s temporary lapse of memory and the inappropriate use of alcohol hand sanitizer.
Malpractice handwashing is on the horizon
This little-known "Readily Available" legal principle awakens Risk Management interest in electronically verified handwashing. Here Russel Nassof, founder of RiskNomics explains: