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The 5 Handwashing Hurdles

Sixteen years of formal and informal research has provided the Handwashing For Life Institute with a long list of reasons and excuses for low handwashing rates. Today caregivers may hear of their compliance rate being reported at 90% but in their heart of hearts know it is far short of the reported number.

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Advancing Compliance Monitoring

Stepping down the risk by stepping up the technology


Culture change is the only way Handwashing For Life Healthcare has found to convert time-hardened handwashing behaviors. Years of accepting low compliance now defines today's reality. Whatcha got is … who you are!

Years of training have produced waves of temporary peaks in performance. Training without standards has proven to be both frustrating and costly as gains slip back to the undeclared norm.

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The Joint Commission Resets Handwashing Compliance

Continuous improvement trumps the mythical “90%”

The shortage of actual data on handwashing compliance in healthcare has evolved into a serious industry-wide overstatement of compliance. Knowing good things happen once a 90% level is achieved, reported handwashing rates quickly climbed to that number.

Professional advancement and even bonuses are “earned”, institutionalizing a standard of bad behaviors.  The Joint Commission's norm is clearly stated in their Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals. It says nothing about 90%.

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A Successful Culture Change Doubles Handwashing Rates

Data plus leadership records sustainable gains in handwashing behaviors.

Culture change is often cited as a requirement where hand washing rates need to be doubled to reach a safe level. The Atrio Restaurant in Carmel, Indiana, lead by Chef Peter Fulgenzi, took on that task, challenging his staff to accept their professional role in serving safe food and giving them a measurement tool to verify handwashing without filling in tedious logs.

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A Final Touch Like No Other

Multi-emitter UV-C is like a dry disinfectant final step from the bed to the bathroom.

For years, we listened to the arguments as UV-C emitters appeared on the scene, critical about shadowed areas and lack of clinical data. Then we watched and listened, realizing UV-C is not a stand-alone solution. Manual cleaning is the first and irreplaceable step with appropriate cleaner disinfectants and quality single-use paper towels followed by the UV treatment.

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Introducing RubScrub™ & SaniTwice®

Better Hand Cleanliness for the Bedridden

Bedridden patients tend to wash their hand less because of the inconvenience. Their contaminated hands endanger themselves as well as their caregivers. Handwashing For Life Healthcare offers two suggestions to boost the power of alcohol hand sanitizers.

RubScrub™ is simply a handwash protocol without water.

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Handwashing's 6th Moment

A trail of risk on the final phase from farm to fork

More than a single moment, consider the patient protection value of the collective handwashes from the kitchen to the bed tray. Handwashing For Life Healthcare considers all those washes as one, the 6th Moment™, a reminder that all the patient room precautions can be nullified by a missed handwash along the route.

Consider a new patient. Now that he or she is resting comfortably, it’s time to finalize dietary requirements or implement the pre-agreed plan. In other words, let’s get cooking!

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