Touchless disinfectant dispensers have been proven to increase compliance and reduce the risk of cross-contamination. For these reasons, the guideline by Robert Koch-Institute recommends automatic dispenser systems for hand disinfection.
More than 80 percent of all infections are transmitted through the hands. Especially in the medical environment, careful hand hygiene is of particular importance. The problem: Many of necessary hand disinfections are not consistently performed in everyday practice. The reasons for this are manifold and range from the insufficient availability of disinfectants to the constantly increasing work concentration in nursing and patient care.
The most effective way to improve compliance is through a bundle of measures. An important component here is the patient-oriented placement of disinfectant dispensers. Easily accessible dispenser positioning and eye-catching housings in signal colour are further components in infection prevention.
Non-contact operation: hygienic and comfortable
Another and so far underestimated component in this context is the use of sensor-controlled dispenser systems. The non-contact operation not only reduces the risk of microorganisms spreading, but also increases the frequency of use.
A comprehensive study at RWTH University Hospital Aachen confirms the positive effect of automatic dispensers on compliance. An increase in hand disinfection of more than 50 percent was observed after the implementation of contactless dispensers in an intensive care unit.*
The findings from practice are reflected in the latest recommendations of the German Society for Hospital Hygiene e.V. (DGKH) and the Commission for Infection Prevention, Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention (KRINKO) at the Robert Koch-Institute.
The KRINKO recommendation for hand hygiene in health care facilities published in 2016 states in chapter 7 on the requirements for dispensers of hand disinfectants and hand wash products:
“Automatically operated dispenser systems are to be preferred not only because of the lower contamination and transfer probability, but also because of the higher operating comfort and the positive influence on compliance.”
Touchless devices can therefore be used as a valuable component of multimodal infection protection measures, especially in hygiene-sensitive areas. With regard to security of supply in the event of malfunctions, cleverly thought-out product features can support: In this way, retractable emergency operating levers in the dispenser ensure the function with a low battery level and sustainably improve patient protection.
*Scheithauer, S., Haefner, H., Koch, A., Lemmen, S. Increase of alcoholic hand disinfection performance due to new touchless dispensers. Abstracts of 21st ECCMID/27th