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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

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?

Water & Cost Savings Calculator

Safe Levels for handwashing must be set prior to productivity rates. Both the quality and frequency of handwashing are important Best Practices to measure and monitor. In this case, specifying electronic faucets for employee convenience and safety resulted in unexpected savings — enough to pay for the Best Practices faucets.

See your potential savings:

Gloves

Proper use of quality, single-use gloves significantly lowers the risk of cross-contamination, provided they are changed regularly. Gloves deliver an added level of protection and provide a visual cue to patients and residents that the establishment cares about their well being.

Paper Towel

Wins in Effectiveness & Speed

Paper towels, single-use paper towels, are the clear Best Practice for hand drying in the fast paced professional environment of healthcare. Paper is both effective and fast, the two critical elements of choice.

Handsinks

Convenience and cleanliness are mission-critical in handwashing compliance. Effective reliable equipment and supplies are major components as is the overall cleanliness of the hand hygiene station. These matched measures motivate frequent use and lower the risk of outbreaks.

Facility Design

CareReady® Hands and TouchReady® Surfaces are outcomes of the professional facility design. From the icons on the drawing board to the menu board, resident, patient and staff safety are built in via choices that set conditions for success.

Nail Brush

Breaking the Fecal-Hand-Oral Chain with “The Doubler” Nail Brush

The best implement to wash a hand is the other hand. Brushless hand washing is the standard. However, there are limitations. In the case of handwashing, the use of a nail brush in select situations is often essential for effective cleaning.

Hand Soap

Effective hand soap > more frequent handwashing > less risk of illness

Liquid or Foam

Well formulated hand soaps, liquid and foam, provide both effective cleaning and an incentive to wash frequently.

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