Disinfecting Hands
and Surfaces?

It's not enough

Download the White Paper: Controlling healthcare-acquired infections in the superbug era: Why hand hygiene and surface cleaning are not enough.

Developed in collaboration with Dr. Ojan Assadian, president of the Austrian Society for Infection Control, our free White Paper explores the limitations of hand hygiene and surface cleaning in hospital settings and the importance of closing the loop with air disinfection. This 10-page White Paper draws upon 62 scientific sources to bring you one of the most comprehensive and engaging summaries on the subject.

Healthcare-acquired infections are a global concern. In Europe alone, 4.5 million episodes of nosocomial infections occur every year*. Everyone who visits a healthcare facility, whether long-term or for acute care, is at risk. Hand hygiene and surface disinfection has long been the international gold standard for infection control in healthcare environments. But as our hospitals become more crowded, infections become harder to treat, and costs become unmanageable, traditional protocols need reinforcement.

* Allegranzi, B et al. (2011) "Report on the Burden of Endemic Health Care-associated Infection Worldwide". World Health Organisation. Available here

How compliant are your staff with hand hygiene protocols?

Answer these 7 questions to find out. (1 = rarely compliant, 5 = always compliant)

Compliance with Hand Hygiene

compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers

Over the past twenty years, hospitals have required strict compliance with hand hygiene protocols. But today, with healthcare workers understaffed and overworked, complete adherence to hand hygiene protocols is rare. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), average compliance with hand hygiene protocols is 39% and one recent study showed a mere 1–5% compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers.*

* Clack et al. (2017) “First-person view of pathogen transmission and hand hygiene – use of a new head-mounted video capture and coding tool.” Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, vol. 6, no. 108, pp 1-9.

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting

The surfaces in your hospital may look clean but are they microbially clean? Truly disinfecting surfaces requires more skill, specialized products, and more time than most outsourced cleaning staff have at their disposal. And even thoroughly disinfected surfaces won’t stay that way for long. As one study showed, cleaning surfaces with hospital-approved disinfectants reduced the bacterial burden by up to 99%, but the population rebounded in as little as 2.5 hours to pre-disinfection levels.*

* Attaway H.H. et al. (2012) "Intrinsic Bacterial Burden Associated with ICU Hospital Beds: Effects of Disinfection on Population Recovery and Mitigation of Potential Infection Risk". AJIC, vol 40, no. 10, pp. 907-12.

Download the White Paper: Controlling healthcare-acquired infections in the superbug era: Why hand hygiene and surface cleaning are not enough.

Cleaner Air Means Cleaner Hands and Surfaces

Wherever people are coming and going, there are pathogens being introduced to indoor environments. When those pathogens become airborne, smaller particles can spread over long distances via air currents while larger particles settle on surfaces to be picked up by hands.

One way to augment hand hygiene and surface cleaning is by cleaning the air. But common air cleaning solutions like ventilation, filtration, and sanitisation have their limits. Ventilation systems aren’t always able to reach dead zones like sinks and entry ways, HEPA filters can become ineffective due to irregular maintenance and even dangerous due to pathogen colonisation, and aggressive sanitisation methods like misting and UV are unsafe for use around people.

Implementing air-disinfection technology that is constantly working safely around patients and staff at the point of care to reduce the amount of bioburden in the air leads to less surface contamination and a lower likelihood of direct and indirect transmission of infection.

* Kowalski, W.J. (2007) “Air-Treatment Systems for Controlling Hospital Acquired Infections”. HPAC Engineering, vol.79, pp. 1-22.

The Future of Infection Control is Looking Up

Trying to control infection today using systems of the past isn’t enough. As infections are becoming harder and more costly to treat, new solutions are needed. Learn more about the limits of hand hygiene and surface cleaning protocols in hospitals by downloading our white paper.

The future of infection control is looking up. You should too.