Skip to content Skip to navigation

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

New Handwash Compliance Monitoring Unveiled

Nursing home administrators react

Nursing home administrators were introduced to new technology to take handwash monitoring well beyond the limitations of observation. It all happened as part of the INHAA agenda in Springfield, Illinois. Handwashing For Life demonstrated a system called SmartLink™ by GOJO Industries as part of their presentation on practices to lower nursing home acquired infection rates.

Mike Mann's picture

Rub In but Rub Out the 70% Alcohol Myths

Hand sanitizers are often selected by label kill-claims and alcohol level. Those numbers conceal compelling, decision-making scientific facts, verified by some of our leading universities.

First, there is the common misstatement claiming that alcohol hand sanitizers are ineffective on norovirus, one of the leading causes of outbreaks and deaths in nursing homes. A properly formulated rub shows at least a 99% kill, hardly considered ineffective. Using other test methods and synergized formulations, a 70% alcohol level tests as high as 99.999%.

Mike Mann's picture

Handwashing: The Behavior Change Reality

Intention is miles from a good habit

Our current work on electronic handwash monitoring is accentuating the path of caregiver learning from awareness on to forming new unconscious behaviors. Too often, training is seen as the singular factor in changing handwash behaviors. We train, stop and expect results. There are 7 steps and we stop after step 2 or 3.

Knowledge doesn’t change behaviors. Conviction and repeated practice are the key missing links.

Mike Mann's picture

Pathogen Zapping UV for Cleaner Surfaces Faster

Advances in UV technology are paving the path to everyday use in acute care facilities. It is being integrated with healthcare’s more traditional surface cleaning tools. Trained users remove from a patient room those fragile items that might sustain physical damage. Visible surface soils are cleaned with spray cleaners and wipes. Remaining furnishings and equipment are positioned to minimize “shadows”, those surfaces escaping the direct light-lines. The “robot” is then released for a fast and effective germ deactivation on both hard and soft surfaces.

Mike Mann's picture

Hospital Chef Specs Technology To Motivate Handwashing

First to Earn Handwashing For Life's 5 Star Hand Hygiene Award

Chef Peter Fulgenzi assessed his operation’s risk for hospital acquired infections as step one of his study. He then set safe levels on both handwashing quality and frequency. His 15 handsink stations were optimized and he completed rigorous staff training along with a tightening of hiring policies. One gap persisted in his HandsOn process control system - compliance monitoring remained compromised by observation only.

Mike Mann's picture

The "Jacks or Better" Factor in Lowering the Risk of HAI's.

How Hand Hygiene Monitoring Gets You in the Game

Well implemented technology-assisted monitoring of hand hygiene behaviors is a potential game changer in patient and resident safety but it does share one major weakness with its historic standard, secret shopper protocols. Neither is a stand-alone fix. They merely provide an assessment of current behaviors and evidence of the current patient-care culture.

Grayson Martin's picture

The Power of the Hospital CEO to Drive Change

Beckers Hospital Review recently published two articles that drove powerful messages with a common theme.   Imbedded in the context of “The Four Characteristics of a Strong Safety Culture”1 and “How a No-Nonsense Hospital CEO Reached the Target of Zero Infections”2, was a singular message.   To create a strong patient safety culture to reduce Nosocomial Infections, leadership must ensure certain characteristics exist in their organization.

Grayson Martin's picture

The Seven Sins of Observation - Are we in the Dark Ages?

A decade ago direct observation of Health Care Workers (HCW’s) by their peers became the “Gold Standard” in the health care community to benchmark hand hygiene compliance.  Although the spread of Nosocomial Infections or commonly called Health-Care Associated Infections (HAI’s) is a complex problem, it is widely accepted that up to 50% of HAI’s are transmitted through sub-standard hand hygiene compliance by HCW’s.

The question arises, “What are the drawbacks to this age-old industry standard?

Cross Contamination

This animation is based on a research study conducted in a US hospital.

The researchers seeded the telephone in POD D with an easy to detect, inert DNA material (red dot) and then tracked it's movement over the 8 hours of a single shift. Every 2 hours 32 swabs were done in each of the patient pods and 10 swabs in each of the staff common areas. Nurses were confined to one patient POD but could move freely to the common areas. Doctors, specialists and support staff could move as required. Obviously the patients weren't mobile, they were just the victims of poor hand and surface hygiene.

What areas were most contaminated after the 8 hours?

Pages