World Hand Hygiene Day takes place every year to encourage awareness of hand hygiene within healthcare facilities. 2022’s theme is ‘Unite for Safety’: Clean your hands1 – a concept that aims to inspire a ‘culture of safety and quality’ in facilities across the globe.
Hand hygiene is considered the most important factor in the control of infection in a healthcare setting as it protects both workers and patients. Experts agree it can reduce the spread of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) by 15-30%2.
The World Health Organization recommends employing a multimodal strategy to ensure effective infection prevention3, including implementation of a cultural shift. To help your business work together on World Hand Hygiene Day 2022, here are five simple steps to encourage better hand hygiene in your healthcare facility.
1. Make hand hygiene training more inspiring
According to the Tork Healthcare Hand Hygiene Survey, 8 out of 10 healthcare professionals would like to improve their hand hygiene compliance4. The World Health Organization advocates an evidence-based, field-tested and user-centred model with the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene. Tork’s award-winning Clean Hands Training invites healthcare professional into a digital world there they can interact with the 5 Moments model in a more realistic and inspiring environment. It’s available for free on desktop and mobile devices.
2. Choose the right soap and sanitizer
Choosing the right sanitizer and soap is one of the top ways to encourage hand hygiene compliance. Whether it’s eco-certified hand soap or hand sanitizer, selecting high quality hygiene products is key to effectively killing microbes and pathogens.
Healthcare workers who practice hand hygiene on a regular basis may experience sore, dry or painful hands. Some employees report conditions such as contact dermatitis as a result of frequent handwashing. Symptoms include redness, flaky skin, blisters, weeping and itching. Skincare experts suggest that this kind of skin damage is often associated with poor quality hand hygiene products. Harsh detergents, fragrance and preservatives in some products may disrupt the natural flora of the hands. It’s important to identify and remedy the problem, because skin irritation is one of the key reasons why health professionals fail to practice good hand hygiene.
In order to encourage good hand hygiene and support the wellbeing of your staff, choose a high grade preparation such as Tork Hand Sanitizer. Our mild, dermatologically tested formulations contain skin caring ingredients to protect sensitive skin when frequent handwashing is needed.
3. Optimize dispenser placement
Once you have selected a high quality cleansing agent, the next step in boosting hand hygiene in your healthcare facility is to optimize dispenser placement. Research shows that the location of hand hygiene dispensers has a significant impact on compliance rates. Studies show that optimizing dispenser placement can increase usage by more than 50%5. Ensure that products are easily accessible in public areas such as entrances and hallways, patient rooms and nurse stations.
4. Ensure dispensers are refilled regularly
There’s nothing worse than running out of soap or hand sanitizer mid-shift. Everyone must come together to maintain good hand hygiene in a hospital setting. Your hospital cleaning team have a big part to play in ensuring staff and patients always have access to hand wash and hand sanitiser. To improve hand hygiene in your facility, consider implementing a low-maintenance system to enhance efficiency. Tork Vision Cleaning® connected dispensers provide real-time information to cleaners, to help them free up more time other hygiene-critical tasks, with less time checking and refilling dispensers. That way you can keep track of product usage, keep dispensers stocked and boosting staff efficiency.
5. Offer prompts and cues
If you are a healthcare manager looking to improve hand hygiene compliance in your facility, there are several easy and practical things you can do to encourage your staff to wash and sanitize their hands. You may wish to place talking walls, Healthy Hands posters and cues around prominent places around your facility signposting hand hygiene points. This should encourage patients and visitors, as well as staff, to engage in hand hygiene too. As well as increasing signage in your facility, you may benefit from providing staff members with hand hygiene feedback as part of their employee performance review, to act as compliance incentive.
1 World Health Organization: World Hand Hygiene Day 2022
2 Inivos: Hand hygiene effectiveness in hospital infection control
3 World Health Organization: Multimodal strategy
4 Tork: Tork Healthcare Hand Hygiene Survey
5 Tork: Dispenser placement