Implementing Hand Hygiene In Healthcare Settings – Sounds Easy? Think Again

Hospitals and healthcare facilities need to help raise hand hygiene standards. Here are some of the difficulties they are faced.

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In the recent article, “Hand hygiene: Sounds easy, but not when it comes to implementation”, the writers described the problems the healthcare system is met when it comes to implementing hand hygiene practices.

“Faced with the ever-increasing burden of antimicrobial resistance, the impact of a seemingly simple gesture needs to be emphasized, considering its potential to limit the use of antibiotics by reducing cross-transmission and limiting the resistance reservoir,” the article wrote.

“Considering all the recognized advantages of implementing hand hygiene, and its critical role in safe, quality healthcare delivery, one would assume that such a life-saving intervention would be applied universally, at appropriate times using the recommended technique. This is however not the case.”

On the subject of healthcare associated infections, the WHO wrote, “1 in 10 patients get an infection while receiving care… Effective infection prevention and control reduces health care-associated infections by at least 30%.”

What needs to happen in order for the healthcare system to implement good hand hygiene practices?

Hospitals and healthcare facilities need to help raise hand hygiene standards by creating enough available sinks, which are accessible to both patients and personnel. More open sinks, with proper regents, mean more people will have a chance to wash their hands inside facilities. Part of the reason people don’t wash their hands is not having enough free sinks ready to use. Hospitals should also offer disposable paper towels to dry hands – the most hygienic solution to hand drying.

Facing a deadly time crunch, some medical professionals are too pressed for time to wash their hands correctly, having to settle for brief disinfecting methods which are not as thorough as hand washing. Some viruses don’t react to disinfectants such as alco-gel, but only to soap – like the common Norovirus.

The WHO posted very clear instructions, WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, in an effort to help make the execution of these guidelines easier. However, when observing healthcare professionals experts noticed that they don’t always follow all of the steps needed. This could be because, under a watchful eye, healthcare personnel become tense and forget the required steps. This is the reason many hospitals are turning to electronic monitoring.

Soapy’s solution, the ECO Hygiene Micro-Station, tackles these exact problems. The micro-station is a touch free “smart sink”, dispensing the exact amount of soap and water needed for every wash cycle. The micro-station is extremely ecological, saving up to 95% of water and up to 65% of regents – translating to hundreds of dollars a year. The ECO Hygiene Micro-Station utilizes motion sensors and AI technology to confirm the proper movements are made, ensuring a perfect wash. The ECO Hygiene Micro-Station has a facial recognition feature, allowing managers access to important hand hygiene information, such as how many times each employee washed their hands throughout the work day and the quality of the wash. This data is stored on the Soapy Wisdom platform, a secure platform that answers to GDPR standards. If you want to learn more about the ECO Hygiene Micro-Station, you can contact us here.

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