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Infection Control - Hand Hygiene
Hand hygiene and infection control go hand-in-hand. Maintaining clean hands is a sure-fire way of reducing infections in all healthcare environments and is recognised by the Department of Health as the first line of defence against spreading many illnesses.
An effective hand hygiene compliance programme, including frequent handwashing, hand drying and use of hand sanitisers, will help protect your staff, your customers and your healthcare practice.
Help fight the spread of infection using Initial Medical’s specialist hand hygiene range, which continues to protect your hands once dried by using Steri-7 Xtra's Reactive Barrier Technology. The technology gives your hands round-the-clock biosecurity, with no window of opportunity for pathogens to re-establish themselves.
Initial’s handwashing range has been designed specifically to control the spread of infection. For healthcare environments, we suggest the use of antibacterial foam soaps. The foam spreads quickly over the hands and saves water, enabling a more effective handwashing experience.
Our soap dispensers have an integral antibacterial technology which has been developed to fight against harmful bacteria, including MRSA, E. Coli and Salmonella. Microbiological efficacy studies, carried out by independent accredited laboritories, have demonstrated the technology kills >99.9% of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria on contact.
Our handwashing range also provides single-use paper towels in your treatment room. Paper towels dry your hands quicker and remove more bacteria than other drying conventions and are therefore the best option for a healthcare environment.
Steri-7 product range
Our Steri-7 Xtra Personal Care range includes a hypoallergenic surgical level of hand rub and wash. These products bring an extraordinarily high level of hygienic protection to anything from pre-op surgical scrubs to general use in kitchens, washrooms and toilets.
Our Steri-7 Hand Rub has in independent tests been shown to destroy 99.99% of feline Coronavirus*.
The combination of a hand wash and hand rub after washing prevents reinfection when drying, ensuring the safety of your patients or those in your care.
*Feline Coronavirus, a surrogate virus for Coronavirus.
Alcohol Hand Sanitiser range
Once the hands are dry, applying an alcohol-based hand sanitiser will minimise cross-infection in your healthcare environment by reducing the levels of pathogens present on the hands.
To fit your treatment room requirements, we provide either manual or hands-free refillable dispensers that are easy to use. These dispensers hold 1 litre of 80% alcohol sanitiser as recommended by the World Health Organisation and are accompanied with 5-litre refillable bottles, saving you time and money against sourcing your own refills, whilst reducing your plastic use.
Our dispensers can be located wherever you need them, whether that be fixed to a suitable wall near a handwashing station or attached to our collection of pedal and static stands, suitable for receptions and waiting areas.
Coronaviruses can live on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for 72 hours. The New England Journal of Medicine 2020; 382:1564-1567
Roughly 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. Memorial Medical Center
Contaminated hands can transfer pathogens to seven separate surfaces. National Library of Medicine; PMID: 15350713
Under HTM 01-05 guidelines, bars of soap and scrub or nail brushes must not be used for cleaning hands. Department of Health
Disposable gloves do not fully protect your hands from contamination and you may reinfect your hands during removal. World Health Organisation
Three hand hygiene steps
1. Wash your hands - Spend 30 seconds thoroughly scrubbing your hands and wrists, using hot water and plenty of soap. If you are in a surgical environment, ensure you are bare below the elbows before starting to wash your hands.
2. Dry your hands - A recent study carried out between the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust considered drying hands by jet air versus paper towels in a hospital setting. The study concluded that using disposable paper towels when drying hands removed more pathogens missed by handwashing and led to less pathogens being transferred into the hospital wards.
Disposable paper towels also dry your hands quickly and create very little irritation of the hands, meaning staff are further encouraged to practice hand hygiene often.
3. Sanitise your hands -
It is important that your hands are fully dry before using hand sanitiser. Plenty of alcohol hand sanitiser should be used in order to prevent instant recontamination of the hands from touching surfaces or items. Choosing a hands-free sanitiser removes another recontamination event after washing your hands.
Hand Hygiene Poster Download
Make sure your staff always follow procedure. Fill in this quick form below to receive informative downloadable posters by email on how to wash your hands effectively and how to sanitise your hands properly.
Improve hand hygiene technique and compliance in your healthcare setting by placing these posters at your handwashing stations.
Hand Hygiene Poster Download
When to follow the three steps
Consider the following infection prevention touchpoints and procedures used in your practice:
Before and after the removal of PPE
Before and after contact with patients
Before and after treatment sessions
After exposure to bodily fluids
Before and after the cleaning of equipment and surfaces
Before contact with any sterile equipment
Top hygiene tip
To maintain effective hand hygiene, make sure your nails are kept short, unvarnished and your hands are kept free of jewellery.