Foam: Why Handwash and Sanitizer Format Matters in Healthcare Settings

By SC Johnson Professional Healthcare

Hand hygiene compliance is critical in the healthcare environment for its role in helping to reduce the spread of pathogens and hospital acquired infections (HAIs). According to the CDC, healthcare providers may need to clean their hands as many as 100 times per 12-hour shift, depending on the number of patients and intensity of care[1]. With this much use, it is important to keep user preference in mind when selecting products to aid in compliance. A study from the Journal of Hospital Infection revealed that compliance with hand hygiene guidelines is affected by factors including education, product availability, time pressure, skin health, and user acceptance of the sensory properties[2]. In addition, the study found that desirable sanitizer properties include fast absorption, soft/moisturized hand feel, not sticky, clean feel, and low smell[3].

Placing high quality, effective handwash and sanitizing products strategically around healthcare facilities helps promote and improve hand hygiene compliance for both staff and visitors.  When it comes to product selection, there are many format options. These include foam, gel and liquid. In healthcare settings, foam can be an optimal option as it leaves hands feeling smooth, uses less water, has dose control and typically doesn’t leave a mess on the floor.

Key Properties of Professional-Grade Foaming Handwash and Surgical Scrubs

According to the CDC, it’s important for administrators to consider factors including the efficacy of antiseptic agents against various pathogens and acceptance of products by personnel. For soaps, ease of lathering can also affect user preference[4].

For a mild, antimicrobial foaming soap, SC Johnson Professional® offers its Kindest Kare® Advanced Handwash, which is specifically designed for use in healthcare settings. It is formulated with superior foam quality and easily rubs across hands, providing the user with complete control of the product. This helps prevent dripping and splashing[5].

If a waterless surgical scrub is required, SC Johnson Professional offers Alcare® OR Foamed Antiseptic Handrub. Its rich, thick foam mousse easily rubs across hands, providing the user with good control of the product to help prevent dripping and splashing often associated with using alcohol sanitizers.

Selecting Clinically-Proven, Moisturizing Foam Sanitizer

The CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol[6]. Any sanitizer meeting these guidelines will be effective, however preference plays a critical role in compliance.  Sticky, messy or dryness-causing products may deter people using the provided product, so it is important to provide one that can be used on a routine basis.

For an effective, yet non-drying option, SC Johnson Professional offers Alcare® Extra Hand Sanitizer. Designed for healthcare settings, its Invisi-Feel™ formulation leaves hands feeling clean with no residue or sticky after-feel even with frequent use. It is also dispensed as a foam for ease of use.

Keeping Users Top of Mind

In order to achieve high hand hygiene compliance, healthcare facilities should consider providing staff with effective products that can be tolerated on a daily basis.  This can be accomplished by taking user preference into high consideration and selecting quality, non-drying foaming products to help staff protect both their health and skin.

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