Risk-based handwashing protocols are infinite
How long to wash? Soap or rub? Added friction? Once or twice? Bimodal? Choices must be made in order to train, gain process control, motivate staff and protect patients/residents. Your units from patient rooms and nursing stations to the kitchen are likely not a one-size-fits-all when it comes time to specify your products and protocols of choice.
The multi-tasker's handwash
Handsinks are plentiful in healthcare facilities. They seem like they are everywhere until you need one and you:
- don’t want to leave the patient’s bedside.
- want to complete a conversation at the nurse’s station.
- are pushing a wheelchair and don’t want to leave the patient’s side.
- are on a patio without a handsink.
- are walking down the corridor without time to duck into a restroom.
- want to remain by the phone for an important call.
- are helping out a patient in rehab.
… want to do some deeper cleaning than rubs alone can deliver.
A RubScrub™ station simply consists of a hand-sanitizer dispenser and a box of quality paper towels.
Apply a double or triple dose of hand sanitizer. Rub vigorously for 20 seconds. Aggressively wipe dry.
For even greater peace-of-mind, reapply rub/hand sanitizer following label instructions. This double protocol is known as the SaniTwice® method and has been published in the Journal of Food Protection and found to be "Equal to or better than a soap and water wash."
Always look for ways to make it easier for the staff to do the right thing. Set procedures to make sense and be as intuitive as possible. Look to make all changes relevant to the staff's performance and resident or patient satisfaction.
Automatic touch-free faucets and dispensers save time and send a message of management caring. Often a behavior bottleneck can be freed with just clear, consistent and reasonable instructions.
Being a busy multi-tasking caregiver is no excuse for careless hand hygiene. Above are 8 different regimens ready to address specific healthcare situations.
Integrated Facility View
The floorplan below provides an overview of all the intersection points of people and pathogens in a typical Long-Term Care setting. This type of drawing is very helpul in deciding where to locate Rub and Rub Scrub™ Stations. These units will only be used if they are convenient. What good are they when someone moves them out of the traffic. These stations are like a pathogen fence positioned to be used by all caregivers and visitors. Experience shows that they are only used when they are in the traffic lanes as an inescapable reminder.