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A helping hand in care homes

11 October 2018

Read our article about the importance of maintaining good hand hygiene in care homes, published in the latest issue of Tomorrow's Cleaning.

Washing and drying hands correctly is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of germs. Germs are everywhere and can easily transfer from person to person or an object to person.

In healthcare environments such as care homes and hospitals, it is crucial for the wellbeing of staff and patients to practice good hand hygiene, reducing the risk of cross-contamination and healthcare associated infections.
 
Unfortunately, correct hand hygiene is often neglected. A recent published study in the American Journal of Infection Control (1) by French scientists stated that rigorous hand hygiene protocols could reduce the risk of infections across healthcare facilities including care homes. The World Health Organization also states that hands are the main way of germ transmission during healthcare.(2)

With this in mind, it is important for care homes and any healthcare environment to have a correct hand hygiene protocol in place to ensure germs are not being passed on to residents, patients, staff and visitors.

The ‘My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene’ (3) approach by the World Health Organization to reduce health care associated infections defines the key moments when healthcare staff should carry out hand hygiene:

1. Before touching a patient
2. Before clean/aseptic procedures
3. After body fluid exposure risk
4. After touching a patient, and
5. After touching patient surroundings.

Hand hygiene protocols are important across all health care environments including care homes. Effective hand hygiene can be achieved by ongoing training of staff and by ensuring hand cleaning facilities and equipment are available for staff, residents and visitors.

Touchfree solutions

Straightforward hand washing with soaps and with alcohol disinfectants greatly reduces the risk of cross contamination and infection; however, contamination can also happen by touching the dispensing system.

In public environments, anything that is touched regularly can become a breeding ground for germs, increasing the risk of spreading germs and bacteria. For facilities conscious about cross-contamination, touch free soap and paper dispensers are ideal. Users place their hands underneath the unit and it dispenses soap and paper touch-free.

Correct hand hygiene is one of the crucial steps in preventing any cross contamination but there are additional important aspects of infection prevention in care homes to consider. Effective cleaning regimes to ensure all surfaces are cleaned with the correct cleaning solution and equipment are also essential for creating a hygienic and clean environment in care homes.

As we all get older, we are more likely to be less resilient to possible infections. Making cleanliness and hygiene a priority is essential in care homes to ensure to keep residents save and well. Correct hand hygiene combined with ongoing staff training, effective cleaning regimes and the supply of hygiene equipment, helps to prevent the possible spread of infection and makes the care home a clean and hygienic environment for all. 

Touch free products provide healthcare environments with huge benefits, they are a cost-effective, safer and more hygienic solution. Brightwell Dispensers provides a range of touch free soap dispensers and touch free paper dispensers.

To find out more about our touch free solutions, contact us today.


Sources
(1) https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(17)31010-6/fulltext
(2) http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Hand_Hygiene_Why_How_and_When_Brochure.pdf
(3) http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/background/5moments/en/