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Hand Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Food Safety Blog

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90% of Healthcare Workers Not Hand Hygiene Compliant


Hand Hygiene BehaviourData from 10 million hand hygiene events using electronic monitoring technology revealed for the first time that 9 out of 10 healthcare workers currently access hand sanitizer using only one dose from a dispenser.


As recommended by the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC), hand sanitizer volume should be such that it wets hands fully and provides “15-seconds of rubbing” before drying. In addition, Health Canada recommends that each hand sanitizing event should meet the standards of the Healthcare Personal Hand Wash (HCPHW) test which requires a 3 log reduction against the test organism, Escherichia coli.


Wet contact time of less than 15-seconds may be an indication that too little product was applied to complete a proper hand hygiene event. The combination of proper “dose” and “wet time” is critical in helping to prevent Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs). In Canada, about 250,000 people or one out of every nine patients admitted to hospital each year, acquire infections while being treated for something else.



Proper hand hygiene by healthcare providers is one of the most effective ways of preventing HAIs. “To get clean hands, it is very important to have your hands wet for 15 seconds - and it is easiest for all of us, if we can get that volume with one dose," says Dr. Allison McGeer, a Microbiologist and Infectious Disease Consultant at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.  Mount Sinai Hospital has a leading infection control program with a high standard for hand hygiene compliance.


With HAIs being an ongoing health and cost issue, a new innovative hand hygiene solution for was recently developed by Deb and launched in Canada.   “We have the unique advantage of our electronic monitoring technology which allows us to draw upon real-time usage data.  As a result, we could direct our research and development efforts to provide healthcare facilities with an effective solution to improve hand hygiene quality & patient safety," add Dr. John Hines, R&D Director at Deb Group.


Is there a short 30" to 1' video clip we can use on our closed-circuit TV station in our senior's complex to show how to use sanitizer correctly?
Posted @ Monday, November 05, 2012 1:50 PM by Jerry Tot
It's a great idea Jerry and thank you for asking. Let me explore this for you and I'll follow-up soon.
Posted @ Monday, November 05, 2012 2:20 PM by Patrick Boshell
Hi guys, our website is being revamped at the mo, but has one of my participant sessions in recent training using alcohol hand rub with a team of engineers and medical devices technicians who I taught infection prevnetion in the workplace and medical devices decontamination too.  
I had a great response form them, and yes, i concentrated in getting right doese and contact time, using the 'glogerm box and UV light previously to show how places get missed geting it right first time every time one of the Cleanyouhands campaign moto's ...seems we all still have to get the message across eh
Posted @ Monday, November 12, 2012 3:33 AM by Gwen Walker
Any physical action requires training if we are to be consistently accurate. At SureWash we have focused on training staff in the Technique of Hand Hygiene. 
Our system uses video recognition technology to read the way a staff members hands move and then give real-time feedback and direction to assist with learning the correct technique. 
Using ATP testing we have found that a learnt technique delivers better outcomes, we have also found staff to be more compliant with the 5 moments of hand hygiene. 
Our system allows staff to train in hand hygiene 24/7, all staff receive exactly the same training leading to a singular technique being used. 
I have always considered the most dangerous person in a hospital to be the healthcare worker who thinks their hands are clean. Technique is important, a splash and dash approach to hand hygiene may tick a box on the 5 moments but if you haven't complied with good technique the chances are you still have dirty hands. The difference being because you think you have clean hands you will touch a patient. 
Training takes time and repetition, this is what technology can support. Imagine all your staff using exactly the same validated technique every time the sanitise/wash their hands. Imagine being able to have complete reports on training, showing that not once a year but that every month, every staff member shows compliance with best practice. 
I would appreciate comments on our technology, we do not measure 5 moments compliance, we do not make hand sanitiser and we are not the final answer to infection control. 
What we are however is a particular aspect of hand hygiene that has to date been extremely costly, time consuming and ineffective. 
Ask your self this question: You are in a hospital bed and the Dr/Nurse/Porter (it doesn't matter) comes to assist you. They go to the gel dispenser and role it around their hands in a haphazard way. You can see that no gel was applied between the fingers, the finger tips were missed and the nail beds. Would you be happy just that they used the gel or would you want them to use it correctly. If you dont do something right you may as well not do it all. 
Posted @ Wednesday, January 23, 2013 3:06 AM by Sean Bay
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