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Whitepapers

Soap: the science behind it and tools and tips for selecting a hand soap that’s right for your facility.
Hand hygiene is the primary measure to prevent transmission of pathogens in healthcare facilities and alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) is designated as the preferred method for performing hand hygiene by the 2002 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) hand hygiene guidelines. However, soap and water also plays a critical role in hand hygiene, namely when hands are visibly soiled or contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids and when there are outbreaks of Clostridium difficile or norovirus. Because ABHR has been the primary focus for hand hygiene, soap has received less attention in recent years, and due to limited data around soap, many healthcare facilities have given less thought to the type of soap they are using. When soap does become the focus, it is often when healthcare facilities are faced with changing their soap products, and they look for technical information to assist them in their decision-making that typically does not exist. The purpose of this paper is to educate infection preventionists and other key decision makers on the science of soap, help explain the regulatory pathways of soaps used in healthcare settings, and provide guidance on how to evaluate soap products to support a facility’s decision on which soap is best.

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Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings: A Summary
The most common mode of transmission of pathogens is via the hands of healthcare workers and hand hygiene is accepted as one of the most important measures for preventing transmission of pathogens in health-care facilities. There is substantial evidence that hand hygiene reduces the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAI). Alcohol-based hand rubs have been widely adopted in healthcare facilities because of their convenience, speed of use, skin health benefits, ability to be used independently of sinks, and superior efficacy. In a laboratory setting, plain soaps reduce bacterial counts, but antimicrobial soaps are better, and ABHR are best. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) included the recommendation that ABHR should be used in the majority of clinical situations in their 2003 Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings. Further, the World Health Organization (WHO) affirmed these recommendations in their 2009 Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care. It is important to note that there are caveats to the use of ABHR, and they include when hands are visibly soiled or contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids. In these situations, the use of either antimicrobial or non-antimicrobial soap and water is warranted.

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Hand Hygiene Products and Their Effect on Skin Condition at High Compliance: The Need for Better Product Formulations
Changes to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid payment policies has resulted in an intensified focus on reducing healthcare-associated infections, including increasing hand hygiene compliance. Hand hygiene is the most important measure for preventing transmission of pathogens, but as compliance increases, skin health can decrease. Soap is usually the culprit, and changing practice to primarily use hand sanitizer can help significantly, but only up to a point. Current formulations may not adequately address skin health needs that arise in very high compliance environments. There is a need to develop products that adequately address skin health needs in these situations.

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Hand Hygiene in Clinical Settings: A Primer on Hand Hygiene Regimens and Their Effect on Skin Condition
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have long cited hand hygiene as the primary means to reduce HAI and published studies demonstrate that healthcare facilities that have successfully increased hand hygiene compliance have seen a simultaneous decrease in healthcare-associated infections. Yet, hand hygiene compliance rates remain unacceptably low.

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How Today's Intuitive, State-of-the-Art Hand Hygiene Technology Fits The Evolving Hospital Environment
GOJO Industries assembled a panel of thought leaders and experts in Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) and infection control. They were invited to participate in a webinar called How Today’s Intuitive, State-of-the-Art Hand Hygiene Technology Fits the Evolving Hospital Environment. The goal of the webinar was to evaluate the ways RTLS technology has evolved through the years to support the high-performance culture of today’s hospitals, as well as how these systems can drive down costs and enhance patient safety and satisfaction.

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Hand Hygiene Compliance Measurement
Discuss the background on hand hygiene observation, the current “Gold Standard” and learn about how the new Technology-Enabled Observation of Electronic Compliance Monitoring, along with products and clinical interventions, work synergistically to create a hand hygiene program with the ultimate goal of sustained improvement in hand hygiene.

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