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479,000 die each year in healthcare facilities from infections they acquire from their caregivers.
99,000 in hospitals / 380,000 in nursing homes/long-term care*

Overcoming Underwashing

Mike Mann's picture

A New Handwash to Celebrate World Hand Hygiene Day

The SaniTwice® protocol is a special friend of bedridden patients

First developed for the military, this two step, cleanse-sanitize, protocol has found many applications in water-scarce situations beyond the deserts of the Middle East where is was first deployed. The latest “desert” is the bed of the bedridden patient. SaniTwice provides an uncompromisingly effective hand wash by using the hand sanitizer as a wash agent followed by a vigorous drying with a single-use paper towel. A followup application of the sanitizer according to label instructions kills remaining pathogens.

Mike Mann's picture

Visualization & Personalization Drive Handwashing Improvements

Germ theory comes to life by visualization and personalization of the poorly washed hand. A visual feedback explains why hands must be washed at least 10 seconds and preferably 15 or 20, depending on the contamination and the physical condition of the people under their care. This is the advantage in using the ProGrade Scorecard where a standard in quality of the handwash is established.

Patient Safety Awareness Week Pearl!

Authored by Dr. Will Sawyer - Founder, Henry the Hand Foundation

1 in 4 seniors have superbugs on their hands after a hospital stay

I thought it appropriate to share the impact of poor hand hygiene resulting in HAIs, in hospitals. And a brief inclusion of other non-HAI Hand Hygiene issues in every community; Norovirus, seasonal respiratory infections, epidemics (pertussis, mumps, measles, etc.), Lead ingestion, Foodborne infections and many more.

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Hospitals: 99,000 & Long-Term Care: 380,000

This headline is the CDC estimate of deaths caused by Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI). They are rarely added. The math is easy, 479,000. The solution apparently is not.

When 100 people acquire a norovirus infection it makes front page news yet 479,000 annual HAI deaths goes by unnoticed. Here is another way to look at the scope of this issue.

USA overall annual deaths:

  1. Cancer 580,350
  2. Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) 479,000
  3. Heart Disease 380,000
Mike Mann's picture

The New Legal Look at Handwashing

“quality controls … to safeguard consumer and employee health.”

2016 is starting out as a potential watershed for hospital, nursing home and foodservice handwashing. Two high profile Norovirus outbreaks at Chipotle restaurants in 2015 were followed by two legal actions and a 35% drop in Chipotle’s stock price. Controlling Norovirus is highly dependent on good handwashing.

A Simi Valley California law suit was followed by a devastating New York District Court action raised by a concerned stockholder for failing to disclose that its “quality controls were inadequate to safeguard consumer and employee health.”

Mike Mann's picture

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%.

Mike Mann's picture

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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