Care Home Infection Control with Effective Hand Hygiene
As a care home owner, you will already understand how important it is to practice good hand hygiene in your nursing home. Your residents will likely have underlying health issues, which makes them more suspectable and vulnerable to infections. Good hand hygiene in your care home can have a positive impact on maintaining your residents' health.
Findings in a French study conducted by the American Journal of Infection Control highlighted – rigorous hand hygiene intervention practices, reduce mortality and antibiotic prescription rates.
APIC president and nurse, Janet Hass added: "This research demonstrates that a sustained educational programme focused on hand hygiene can improve practices and may reduce the risk of infection among nursing home patients."
Proper hand hygiene procedures need to be enforced in nursing homes to benefit the carers and residents. Still, to do this effectively, education and hygiene facilities need to be improved.
Why your care home needs effective hand hygiene facilities
For people living and working in care settings, infections can be serious and in some cases, life-threatening. If there are underlying health conditions – the impact can be worse. Regular contact between carers, health care workers, residents and visitors means bugs can easily be passed around. For these reasons, it is fundamental to improve your hand hygiene practice and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your care home.
How to improve hand hygiene in care homes
Where running water and soap are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitiser should be used instead. Hand sanitiser can also be used as a supplement to hand washing. We recommend hand sanitiser to be easily accessible for staff – whether you place hand sanitiser dispensers near areas where care is provided, or equip your team members with their personal supply.
You can audit your care home setting to ensure alcohol gel units are readily available. You might want to place your hand sanitiser dispensers in your entrance, to ensure sanitation occurs before anyone enters your setting. Or, have motion sensor dispensers fixed onto the walls, near caregiving areas.
Also, check that you have an adequate supply of hand sanitiser in your setting. If you need help with managed services for hand sanitiser, ClearWater Hygiene will assist you with this. Our managed services support packages ensure hand sanitiser is delivered monthly to your setting, so you're never short of essential supplies.
Educating your care team about hand hygiene
Your team members will already be trained in infection prevention and control – as this is a mandatory requirement for care staff. However, as the nursing home manager, it would be valuable to offer a refresher training session to ensure your team is using best practice.
My 5 moments for hand hygiene
In the Department of Health document, 'Prevention and control of infection in care homes', hand hygiene is an integral part of breaking the infection chain.
Within this document, the 'My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene' approach clearly defines the five key moments health care workers should consider and carry out hand hygiene.
Health care workers should clean their hands: -
- Before touching a resident
- Before clean/aseptic procedures
- After body fluid exposure/risk
- After touching a resident
- After touching a person's surroundings
Managing infection control is essential to prevent the spread of coronavirus for your setting. Your carers and health care workers in your care home will likely require close contact with your residents.
Choosing the right hand sanitiser for your care home
Hand sanitising helps to prevent infections from spreading. Effective hand sanitisers can kill up to 99.999% of common germs; choosing the right hand hygiene products is essential for your setting. It is advised that the hand sanitiser has at least 60% alcohol content for care settings like yours.
ClearWater Hygiene offers a premium quality 80% alcohol liquid hand sanitiser rub to protect your business. Our hand sanitiser is a certified medical grade sanitiser and is currently being used by the NHS. We believe that the highest standard is the minimum standard for protecting you and your business.
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Acting Home Manager, Braeburn Care Home
We are really happy with the product, very easy to set up and very economical as well compared to the gel that we previously used. We think it’s a very good investment.