Hand hygiene saves millions of lives every year when performed at the right times and in the right way during healthcare delivery. It is a minimum requirement for every health facility in the world. But the reality is, approximately 70% of healthcare workers and 50% of surgical teams do not routinely practice hand hygiene (even though studies have shown that it achieves a reduction in HAIs) according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)1.
Every year, more than 200,000 Australian patients contract a Hospital Acquired Infection or H.A.I. As well as causing unnecessary patient distress, the consequences of these infections include longer hospital stays, slower patient recovery, more complex and costly treatment and in some cases even death. For the hospital or surgery, itself, HAIs can cause reputational damage as well as millions of dollars’ worth of lost productivity.
WHO created Hand Hygiene Day on the 5th of May every year. The day advocates the importance of thoroughly cleaning your hands, as it protects the hands from spreading harmful bacteria. Good hand hygiene can be the difference between preventing the transmission of infection and someone ending up in intensive care or worse, due to a Healthcare-Acquired Infection.
This year’s theme “Accelerate action together. Save Lives: Clean your hands” highlights the critical need of improving hand hygiene within healthcare facilities. Excellent hand hygiene is not just about the regular washing or sanitising of your own hands. Being effective requires everyone to be playing their part and for facilities to build a culture of safety consciousness.
Now more than ever it is important to maintain vigilance in hand hygiene protocols. But with increased frequency of hand hygiene practices comes dry, cracked skin which compromises skin integrity. Whiteley’s Bactol® hand sanitisers help alleviate this problem in two ways.
- Firstly, by ensuring an efficient amount of cleaning agent based on hand size for each hand hygiene application.
- Secondly, every Bactol®product is enhanced with emollients that help keep skin soft, smooth and healthy.
The Bactol® range of products is Australian made; the result of decades of research and development, including extensive feedback from healthcare workers and facilities.
It is important for healthcare facilities to follow the WHO 5 Hand Hygiene Movements in their daily protocol of protecting themselves, their staff, and their patients.
To ensure your facility is compliant with the 5-hand hygiene movement, renowned epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws developed The McLaws Hand Hygiene Compliance Calculator to assess how many hand hygiene movements healthcare staff are performing daily and estimates the amount of hand hygiene product usage that is required to meet recommended compliance levels. Hand hygiene compliance is crucial within hospitals to prevent the spread of bacteria and infection from one patient to another.
Whiteley is committed to best practice hand hygiene in healthcare and education. Whiteley offers a range of resources in the form of online training modules, demonstration videos and the latest product information.
On World Hand Hygiene Day this year, how will you and your teams accelerate action together and save lives through clean hands and beyond?