Efficacy: A Key Driver in Selecting Healthcare Antimicrobial Skin Care Products

By SC Johnson Professional Healthcare

Without proper infection control practices in place, pathogens can spread rapidly in healthcare settings. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), seven out of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time will acquire at least one health care-associated infection[1]. In addition, in 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year[2]. Selecting effective antimicrobial skin care products that value broad-spectrum efficacy is a critical component of any healthcare infection control program.

Understand Product Ingredients

In healthcare settings, infection preventionists have an opportunity to explore antimicrobial products that are formulated to target and kill common organisms on the skin. Healthcare facilities often consider efficacy against antibiotic-resistant bacteria threats including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Acinetobacter baumannii and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)[3]. Efficacy against these and similar organisms tops the list when infection preventionists choose appropriate skin care products.

Below are considerations to assist with the selection of antimicrobial skin care products for use in healthcare settings:

Hand Sanitizers: Providing an efficacious hand sanitizer in healthcare settings is essential. Healthcare professionals are often required to perform hand hygiene multiple times during a single healthcare visit. In an effort to improve patient safety, The WHO has defined the “5 Moments of Hand Hygiene” to outline key moments when healthcare professionals should perform hand hygiene. These include before touching a patient, before a clean/aseptic procedure, after body fluid exposure risk, after touching a patient and after touching patient surroundings[4].

SC Johnson Professional’s Alcare® Extra Hand Sanitizer is an effective hand sanitizer. Designed specifically for healthcare professionals, it is an instant foaming, 80% alcohol sanitizer with broad-spectrum efficacy. Its clinically-proven formula has been tested in accordance with FDA clinical methods for healthcare personnel handwash. In addition, its non-drying, Invisi-Feel™ formulation leaves hands feeling clean with no sticky after-feel, even after frequent use, which is ideal for healthcare workers.

Handwash: Active ingredients with broad-spectrum activity verified to kill common organisms on skin play a critical role in handwash efficacy. Another factor to consider is logarithmic (log) reduction. It is the mathematical term used to show the relative number of live microbes eliminated when using an antimicrobial product. For example, a product with a 5-log kill of 99.999% means the number of germs is 100,000 times smaller, while a 6-log kill of 99.9999% means the number of germs is 1,000,000 times smaller[5]. Depending on the needs of your facility, understanding the difference in efficacy to make an informed choice is important.

SC Johnson Professional’s Kindest Kare® Advanced Handwash is an effective option when you are looking for a soap with high efficacy to meet your needs. It is a mild, antimicrobial foaming handwash designed for frequent use in healthcare settings. Its highly effective, broad-spectrum activity is clinically proven to kill up to 99.9999% of many common organisms. This healthcare personnel handwash offers excellent foam quality, which is pleasant for frequent use to help encourage maximum compliance.

Surgical Scrubs: An active ingredient for surgical scrubs is Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG). It works by killing and preventing the growth of bacteria on the skin. It’s used by healthcare professionals to clean hands before medical procedures and surgery. It’s also used to clean patient skin prior to an injection, surgery or after an injury[6].

SC Johnson Professional’s BactoShield® CHG 4% Handwash/Surgical Scrub is a surgical scrub for healthcare settings. It is formulated specifically for healthcare personnel handwashing, surgical hand scrubbing, skin wound and general skin cleaning. A high-efficacy antimicrobial skin cleanser, it contains 4% CHG to provide rapid and persistent antimicrobial action.

While infection control in healthcare settings is a complex, ongoing initiative, having highly effective antimicrobial skin care products can assist in reducing microorganisms on skin to help minimize the risk of transmission and infection. Understanding product ingredients can help infection preventionists select quality antimicrobial skin care products for their teams.

For more information about SC Johnson Professional products recommended for healthcare settings, visit www.scjp.com/healthcare.