Good skin health- the hidden factor in hand hygiene compliance

In a recent blog post, Sealed Air's Lars Wulff Nilsen discussed what to consider when an organization is developing their hand hygiene program.

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on Sealed Air’s website.

In public facilities, staff and visitors need to practice good hand hygiene to help prevent the transmission of disease-causing microorganisms. This is especially true in industries such as foodservice and healthcare where pathogens can be spread easily from person to person. Therefore, it is important to create accountability around hand care. But are we focusing too much of the discussion on which pathogens are killed and in how many seconds? Without employee compliance, none of this matters.

Compliance monitoring systems of various sophistications are being used with increasing frequency around the world, yet hand hygiene compliance levels are nowhere near where they should be. With hand hygiene awareness at an all-time high, why is it that workers do not wash their hands enough, at the right time, or in the right way?
Organizations often focus on product efficacy and kill claims rather than employee compliance. While making effective hand care products available is important, if employees aren’t using the product properly, product selection doesn’t matter. Poor compliance can lead to increased risk for employees, building visitors and an organization’s brand. But why is compliance low in many industries? The answer is skin health. Skin health can greatly impact whether or not employees perform hand hygiene when and where required.

Three reasons why site managers, team leaders and infection preventionists should consider skin health when developing a hand hygiene program include:

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