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Improve Hygiene in Healthcare Ops

11/17/2014

Improve Hygiene in Healthcare Ops

Three easy ways to improve hygiene in assisted living facilities

The country’s aging population is putting more and more pressure on assisted living and long-term care centers to provide consistent, high-quality care for residents. For seniors with deteriorating health, it is imperative that these facilities take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of infection. Additionally, assisted living homes must maintain a safe and comfortable environment while managing tight budgets.

Similar to hospital patients, senior care residents are prone to disease, illness and infection. While measures can be taken to control health issues within the facility, visitors may not instinctively understand that concern. Accordingly, facility managers have the responsibility to make sure guests maintain proper hygiene practices during their visits.

Here are three easy ways to reduce the spread of germs:

  1. No touch, no fuss - Automatic touch-free hand towel and soap dispenser systems are a great way to reduce cross-contamination. In addition to the hygiene benefits, these systems help reduce waste by controlling consumption which translates into reduced cost. Tork sealed soap and sanitizer systems kill 99.9 percent of harmful germs and help shut out bacteria.
  2. Wipe, don’t spread - Re-using dirty towels for cleaning tables and other surfaces is another leading cause of cross-contamination. Using sanitizing wet wipes in place of towels is a more hygienic cleaning option.
  3. Signage – Friendly reminders throughout the facility will encourage guests, residents, and staff to wash their hands regularly. However, the signs should focus on the patients, rather than self-interest. According to a study in the journal Psychological Science, adherence to hand-washing guidelines increases significantly when signs emphasize patient risk and vulnerability, but not when signs emphasize personal risk.

Making the decision to admit a loved one into a senior care center is difficult. Reassuring family members that the proper course of action is being taken to properly care for residents should be top of mind for facility managers.

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