All public buildings, including schools, healthcare facilities, and offices should have hand hygiene stations placed at their entrances, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
With many European nations considering the easing of restrictions due to COVID-19, and the viruses continued spread around the globe, the World Health Organization has published another set of recommendations for its member states. The recommendations are aimed at improving hand hygiene access in healthcare institutions and public areas.
In the absence of a proven vaccine, thorough hand hygiene continues to play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets or by contact. It can be transferred by direct contact when contaminated hands touch the mucous membrane of the eyes, nose, or mouth, or by indirect contact when the virus is transferred from one surface to another by contaminated hands. The WHO argues that practicing thorough hand hygiene – using either soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs – can interrupt the transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria to keep yourself and those around you safe from infection.
While awareness of the importance of thorough hand hygiene has grown with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare facilities and communities are struggling to offer adequate access to hand hygiene facilities.
According to the WHO recommendations, one or several hygiene stations should be placed in front of the entrance to every public or private commercial building, and at all transport locations, including major bus and train stations, airports, and seaports. The number and set-up of the hygiene stations should be adapted to the number and type of users that will use the station (e.g. young children, elderly, those with limited mobility). To prevent the spread of the virus, everyone is encouraged to engage in careful hand hygiene before entering, and upon exiting buildings and all major means of transportation. The WHO notes that it is critical that access to hand hygiene equipment is made freely available and mandatory by public bodies.
For public and private healthcare facilities, the WHO recommends strengthening hand hygiene improvement multimodal programs by providing refresher hand hygiene training, and giving reminders and communications on the importance of hand hygiene in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Functional hand hygiene stations should be available to all healthcare workers at all points of care, in areas where personal protective equipment is put on or taken off, and where healthcare waste is handled. In addition, functional hand hygiene stations should be available for all patients, family members, and visitors, and within 5 m of toilets, as well as at entrances and exits, in waiting and dining rooms, and other public places.
Hand hygiene solutions from OPHARDT Hygiene
It’s clear that providing access to hand hygiene opportunities can help save lives. For more than 50 years, OPHARDT Hygiene has been active in the field of hand hygiene, delivering hand hygiene dispensing solutions to healthcare facilities, public institutions, and industries around the world. We specialize in bringing hand hygiene to the point where it matters most.
Hygiene stations for heavily frequented areas
As part of our diverse range, we offer a variety of hand hygiene stations, made from high-quality stainless steel or robust plastic. Soap and sanitizer dispensers are affixed to weighted stands to provide the required flexibility for entrance ways and other heavily frequented areas.
Paired with a touchless dispenser, our hygiene stations promote frequency of use and eliminate cross contamination to stop the spread of infections. We offer these options in open pour/refillable systems, Euro Bottle systems, and cartridge dispensers.
Bringing hand hygiene to the point-of-care
Our ingo-man® dispenser series is the number 1 dispenser in German hospitals. Manufactured with high-quality stainless steel or aluminum housing, the ingo-man® is available in manual or touchless versions. A variety of mounting and bracket solutions ensure our dispensers can be affixed on the wall, on a stand, on a table, or on bed railing directly at the point-of-care
Open doors with hand hygiene
Our team has developed contact-free dispenser systems that can be connected via Bluetooth with automatic door openers. Using this system, door openers are activated automatically following hand disinfection from a hygiene dispenser, allowing medical staff greater infection prevention through reduced contact with frequently touched surfaces.
Electronic hand hygiene monitoring
Strengthen your multimodal hand hygiene program with the OPHARDT Hygiene Monitoring System® (OHMS). With the intelligent ingo-man® dispensers data on each hand hygiene event, including the dispenser location, amount of product dispensed, and time of activation, are sent via existing WiFi to a central database. Using the OHMS software, hygiene professionals can collate data and generate reports to support targeted refresher training for hand hygiene, as well as optimize dispenser location.
Instant feedback with SmartNose
The SmartNose is a retrofittable module that can be installed within seconds into existing ingo-man® plus dispensers. The benefits of the module are two-fold. A green feedback LED located on the top of the module provides users with instant feedback when the correct amount of sanitizer has been dispensed.
This feedback can promptly influence the quality of hand hygiene event, enhancing infection prevention. Secondly, data dispenser location, volume of product dispensed, and time of hand hygiene event is sent to a central database, to use with the OHMS software to improve hand hygiene compliance rates.