As we celebrate World Hand Hygiene Day on May 5th, it’s essential to acknowledge the importance of support and collaboration in our collective effort to reduce the spread of infection.
This year, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Hand Hygiene Day theme is ‘Accelerate Action Together’ and a key objective is to foster the collaboration of people and organisations towards the common goal of minimising the risk of infections.
Hand hygiene is particularly critical in human and animal healthcare settings, where the emotional, physical, and financial impact of infections is high. Effective hand washing can indeed save lives, but it can also reduce the use of antimicrobials, slowing antimicrobial resistance and reducing the occurrence of outbreaks, which can result in the temporary closure of animal welfare centres.
In hospitals, veterinary clinics, and animal welfare environments, professionals must practice hand hygiene before and after patient care, before and after performing procedures, and after coming into contact with bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces.
The challenges of maintaining compliance
Improving compliance with hand hygiene protocols is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases in your organisation, but maintaining compliance day after day is not an easy task.
Effective training for your team is essential, not just during professional training, or when they enter your organisation, but throughout their career. Optimum hand hygiene compliance requires consistent messaging and support for colleagues, sufficient time allocated to carry them out, and hand washes and sanitisers that meet the requirements of your industry.
Continuous professional development for animal health professionals
Byotrol’s new CPD-accredited training module ‘Effective Hand Hygiene in Animal Health Environments’ can be accessed for free at byotrol.com/training and provides animal health professionals, volunteers, and students with in-depth knowledge that they can immediately apply to their daily lives. Full of helpful data, the module covers everything from the correct process for hand washing to busting common myths and misconceptions of product efficacy.
Helpful hand hygiene signage for both hand washing and hand sanitising is also free to download from byotrol.com/resources, providing organisations with important visual reminders for their workplace.
Practising correct and effective hand hygiene at the right times and with the right products, dramatically helps to reduce the risk of infection. However, compliance can suffer if products are found to irritate the skin or if they are unpleasant to use.
Hand sanitisers that care for skin
INVIRTU Alcohol-free Hand Foam Sanitiser is as effective against harmful bacteria and viruses as alcohol gels but without additional health and safety risks to users. With an extensive data pack including dermatological testing, INVIRTU Hand Foam Sanitiser is ideal for sensitive skin, and, unlike alcohol-based sanitiser, it provides ongoing residual antibacterial efficacy against bacteria between hand washes.
Germs can persist on surfaces for months in some cases, creating pathogen reservoirs in the cracks of surfaces or instruments, which can be unknowingly transmitted from patient to patient by the professional. Using a hand sanitiser with residual protection between washes can provide further peace of mind that your hands and your organisation are protected from the spread of infection.
Byotrol’s commitment to improving health
At Byotrol, infection control is a daily conversation, and we are always striving to improve our products and our service to customers. World Hand Hygiene Day serves as a reminder of the importance of hand hygiene not just in our industry, but across the world. Only by working collaboratively, maintaining our curiosity for learning, and sharing our knowledge and expertise with others, can we all benefit from a reduction in the spread of infectious diseases.
To further share our resources, Byotrol continues to donate to and support The Hygiene Bank, a grass-roots, people-powered charity and social movement which serves over 3.1 million people living in hygiene poverty in the UK.