Did you know that May 5th is the World Health Organisation’s global call to action for workers in healthcare : Save Lives: Clean your hands!?
So we wanted share with you the very latest practical advice for hand hygiene taken from the British Healthcare Trades Association’s new Get Wise to Hand Hygiene publication, which our MD Jo Bonser has been involved in putting together, as part of a team of infection prevention industry experts.
You can read the complete Get Wise to Hand Hygiene document by clicking on the link below:
Jo told us, ‘hand hygiene is widely acknowledged to be the single most important activity that reduces the spread of infection and I am passionate about promoting best practice in this area, including advising on correct techniques and fit for purpose product solutions’
There are four key stages to quality hand hygiene:
So we thought we would highlight one of the lesser known interesting and sometimes shocking facts about each stage of hand hygiene for you:
If you are still using refillable or bulk fill soap dispensers you could be washing your hands with contaminated soap.
These dispensers are a breeding ground for bacteria and are often inadequately cleaned. Once the lid is removed and refilled with soap, airborne germs and bacteria can enter the reservoir and contaminate the soap, leaving your hands with up to 25 TIMES MORE BACTERIA ON after washing.
There are typically more bacteria in a bulk filled soap dispenser than in a toilet in the same bathroom, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns do not add soap to a partially empty soap dispenser as this practice can lead to bacterial contamination of the soap.
The safe alternative to bulk fill dispensers are hygienically sealed cartridge systems which are ultrasonically airtight being free from complete air and gases for maximum hygiene.
2. Hand sanitising
Alcohol based sanitisers must contain at least 60% alcohol as the active ingredient to achieve effective disinfection.
Hand sanitising can be a very good substitute for washing hands, providing hands are visibly clean. It will not remove any dirt, contamination or soiling from the hands, ie faeces or secretions, or during outbreaks of Norovirus or C diff.
In these instances washing hands with mild soap and water is necessary.
3. Hand drying
‘We often say that hand washing is the key to preventing the spread of illnesses, but wet hands increase the risk of transmitting bacteria, so drying is an equally important step in prevention’ says urgent care specialist Theresa Lash Ritter MD
Lots of research has focussed on hand drying techniques. In one study, microbiologists compared jet air dryers with warm air dryers and paper towels. What they found was disturbing:
- Jet air dryers dispersed 20 times more viruses than warm air dryers and over 190 times more than paper towels.
- Drying your hands with absorbent paper towels not only dries them faster but the friction also dislodges bacteria to leave them cleaner.
4. Hand moisturising/rebalancing.
Good skin condition is a really important element in ensuring good hand hygiene practice, and moisturising is the most important step in maintaining healthy skin condition by keeping skin soft and supple and avoiding dryness, soreness and cracking, which in turn can harbour potentially harmful bacteria, especially when hands are frequently washed.
If you would like any additional information on any of these topics, here’s that link again to read the complete Get Wise to Hand Hygiene document:
If you have any concerns about your existing hand hygiene provision and would like some expert help and advice to help you improve your practices, here are the ways we can help you:
- A hand hygiene audit service
- A tailored hand hygiene programme for your care home needs
- Bespoke dispensers unique to you
- World leading skin friendly products
- Cost advantage
- Free education and training materials to support compliance
- Expert knowledge and support
Call us TODAY, we’d love to help you .................. it’s in your hands!
01773 713713 or email us [email protected]