Preparing for Flu Season

Last year the spread of the flu reached epidemic levels across the United States. With flu season upon us, it’s important to remember the best ways to keep the flu at bay. The most effective way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine. The CDC is recommending individuals get vaccinated by the end of October.

There are other important ways to prevent the spread of the flu. Because the flu is spread through contact, the CDC also recommends washing hands often. The CDC provides tips for when and how to wash your hands to help protect the health of those around you here.

In your facility, implementing a complete hand hygiene program can help prevent the spread of the flu and other germs. The Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program has all the tools needed to tackle the flu in any facility. First and foremost, Symmetry products kill 99% of germs with comprehensive efficacy data. All Symmetry products clean your hands without drying them out or leaving behind a sticky residue.

Additionally, encouraging people in your facility to practice proper hand hygiene is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of the flu and other germs. Symmetry has education and awareness tools like posters, wall charts, and handwashing videos designed to demonstrate and explain the importance of proper hand hygiene.

The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program also implements behavioral science with the Symmetry Behavior Modification System (SBMS). These tools help drive immediate hand hygiene practices, encouraging people to wash or sanitize their hands with eye-catching placards and signs. Both SBMS and education and awareness tools offered by Symmetry can be customized for any facility. Use your facility logo, colors, or catchphrase to help inspire proper hand hygiene.

The flu can spread fast, but Symmetry hand hygiene products and tools can keep the people in your facility healthy and germ-free. Contact your local Buckeye representative to find out more about Symmetry and fighting the flu.

Meet Symmetry at APIC

Next week Symmetry® representatives will gather with nearly 5,000 healthcare professionals at the APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology) 2018 Annual Conference in Minneapolis, MN. With a goal of infection prevention, APIC will present opportunities to learn about the latest technologies and best practices for healthcare professionals. From June 13-15, APIC will host more than 100 education sessions, making it one of the most comprehensive infection prevention conferences in the world.

Learn about the Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program in Booth #1221 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Representatives will be there to discuss the importance of hand hygiene in infection prevention, especially at point of care. Symmetry’s innovative technologies can improve hand hygiene in your facility and pave the way to infection prevention. Here are a few topics they will be discussing:

Point of Care and National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) 07.01.01

Recently the Joint Commission stated that they would issue a Requirement for Improvement for any observation of individual failure to preform hand hygiene in the course of direct patient care. Symmetry’s Point of Care tools are there for the moments when healthcare workers are in contact with patients and are at high risk of spreading infection. Symmetry offers various 550 and 50 ml options for tray tables, bed rales, supply carts, and more to help individual caretakers to remember to sanitize and wash their hands.

Proven Clinical Acceptance

When asked to compare Symmetry products to their current hand hygiene products, 97% of Symmetry Challenge Respondents chose Symmetry. Symmetry hand washes and hand sanitizers leave no sticky residue behind and clean hands without drying them out.

Behavior Modification

Symmetry utilizes behavioral science to drive hand hygiene practices. Beyond having products that are gentle on hands, Symmetry uses signs and placards with messages designed to inspire and maximize hand hygiene practices.

Symmetry Products are Triclosan-Free

Because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a rule that bans the marketing of over-the-counter (OTC) healthcare antiseptic products containing triclosan, some healthcare facilities are looking for safer, alternative options. All Symmetry products are triclosan-free.

Next week, learn about each of these features and more. Meet with a Symmetry representative at APIC and get to know the Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program.

The FDA Bans Triclosan from Healthcare Antiseptics

In December 2017, the FDA issued a final rule in regards to triclosan and 23 other active ingredients in healthcare antiseptic products. They have given companies a year to remove antiseptics containing triclosan from their facilities.

Triclosan was originally added to products like healthcare antiseptics to reduce bacterial contamination. Currently, the FDA has no evidence that products containing triclosan are any more effective than products without it. Because of this, triclosan adds more risk than benefit to consumers.

Though studies are ongoing, some research has shown that triclosan has been associated with health risks and may contribute to antibiotic resistance. According to the FDA, companies have not been able to provide sufficient data regarding the safety and effectiveness of triclosan.

For healthcare facilities, this means taking a second look at your hand hygiene program and products. The Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program is an FDA-compliant hand hygiene program. Symmetry hand washes and sanitizers are effective and triclosan-free. They are also gentle on the hands of healthcare workers who sanitize multiple times a day. Symmetry provides a variety of product options, including Green Seal™ certified products and fragrance-free products. The complete Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program can be customized to fit the needs of your facility.

For more information on how to improve your hand hygiene program or about the FDA’s triclosan ban, contact your local Buckeye representative.

Symmetry Hair, Hand and Body Foaming Wash

Symmetry® Hair, Hand and Body Foaming Wash is a product designed for general use, keeping your skin soft and smooth. It can also be used to wash hair without damaging it. It is dye-free with a fruity, floral fragrance and is available as both a gel and foaming product.

Symmetry Hair, Hand and Body Wash is biodegradable and Green Seal™ certified, meeting Green Seal Standard GS-41A based on effective performance and protective limits on VOCs and human & environmental toxicity. Like all Symmetry products, Hair, Hand and Body Foaming Wash comes in hermetically sealed, BPA-free packaging, ensuring all product is contaminate-free. Size options include 1250 ml and 2000 ml packaging. This packaging also evacuates 99% of the product, helping to eliminate product and budget waste.

Symmetry dispensers are “no-drip”, keeping counters and floors clean after every push. They are ADA compliant, come in multiple colors, and have large sight windows to check product levels.

The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program offers a complete line of hand hygiene products, including both hand washes and hand sanitizers. Symmetry also provides education and awareness tools, behavior modification tools, and training to increase hand hygiene awareness in your facility.

Contact your local Buckeye representative today to learn more about the Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program in your facility.

International Infection Prevention Week

This week (Oct 15-21) is International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW). Each year, in the third week of October, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) hosts IIPW to educate both professionals and consumers on the role of infection prevention in patient safety. This year’s theme is Antibiotic Resistance. APIC has a complete toolkit available to help raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and other issues related to infection prevention.

Infection prevention has many facets. One of the simplest ways consumers and professionals can help prevent the spread of infection is through hand hygiene. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), hand hygiene is one of the most important steps in preventing illness and stopping the spread of germs to others.

Symmetry

Buckeye developed the Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program to speak to the importance of hand hygiene in every facility. This complete program provides hand sanitizers and hand washes that kill 99% of germs without drying out your hands. For healthcare facilities, convenient point of care tools are available before, during, and after patient contact to improve the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers. Symmetry also comes with customizable awareness and education materials to help you maximize hand hygiene practices in your facility.

APIC also has a number of tools and resources to help spread awareness about infection prevention. These tools are accessible throughout Infection Prevention Week and beyond. For more information on Buckeye’s Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program, contact your local Buckeye representative.

Symmetry at APIC

APIC, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the largest infection prevention conference in the world, is next week! From June 14th-16th in Portland, Oregon, healthcare professionals will come together to learn about advances in infection prevention.

This is the 44th Annual Conference. It will feature over 90 educational sessions and workshops, and over 270 exhibits. Thousands of healthcare professionals come to learn from infection prevention experts and experience the latest technology through hands-on demonstrations.

Visit the Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program booth #909. Clean hands are the first and simplest step to infection prevention. Learn how to increase hand hygiene compliance rates in your healthcare facility with the Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program by visiting us at APIC.

To learn more about APIC, visit their website.

Improve Hand Hygiene Practices: Symmetry Dispensers and Dispenser Stands

A quality hand hygiene program is more than just quality hand sanitizer and hand wash. The products need to be easily dispensed and available for use in key areas throughout a facility.

visual-lighting-cue-mockup

Symmetry dispensers feature large sight windows for checking product levels, and hidden and keyed integrated lock options. The dispensers may be customized with your logo, message, and color. Symmetry also has Symmetry Visual Light Cue (VLC) dispensers that have a flashing light on them to draw attention to the dispensers and increase proper hand hygiene usage. A study done by the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) concluded that a flashing light increased compliance by 49%!

Symmetry dispensers can also be installed on Symmetry dispenser stands. Well-placed sanitizing stands promote the use of hand sanitizer, and help further reduce the spread of germs. Symmetry stands are best located in high traffic and highly visible areas such as front entrance foyers, patient waiting areas, elevator banks, and lunch rooms. Each stand is freestanding, 50 inches tall, weighs 30 lbs., and is available in black or white. Symmetry stands and dispensers are part of the Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program.

bmod-dispenser

The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program offers a complete set of customizable education and awareness tools to assist in creating a culture of hand hygiene. You can customize informative education and awareness pieces that focus on the “how” and “why” of proper hand hygiene. This includes wall charts, posters, handwashing videos, and product literature. There is also the Symmetry Behavior Modification System, SBMS, which uses behavioral science to drive hand hygiene practices. It incorporates 6 key tenets to inspire hand hygiene compliance including: Benevolence, Accountability, Responsibility, Variation, Emotion, and Direction. The goal of SBMS is to provide tools that capture attention in the moment, driving an immediate hand hygiene event to take place. Symmetry not only provides products for proper hand hygiene, but provides the awareness pieces and tools to understand it. Contact today to learn more.

This Week is International Infection Prevention Week!

Break the Chain of Infection

Friends, family members, and healthcare professionals are coming together this week to celebrate International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), October 16-22. This week raises awareness of the role infection prevention plays in improving patient safety. The theme for this year is “Break the Chain of Infection.” There are six main points at which the chain can be broken and a germ can be stopped from infecting another person. The six links are the infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host. You can read more about them here.

During this week you can go to the APIC website for tips, infographics, and resources to help you advocate and promote infection prevention. There are also polls and quizzes you can take to test you and your colleagues infection prevention knowledge. You can join the conversation later today during the Twitter chat at 2 p.m. and the Thunderclap on October 19 at 12 p.m. EDT. Be sure to use the hashtag #IIPWChat!

Play a Part in Infection Prevention

Everyone plays an important part in infection prevention. Unfortunately, there are germs inside and outside of the healthcare setting that can spread in different ways. Patients, families, and healthcare professionals can work together to stay healthy. You can start by cleaning your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitizer, asking about vaccines, becoming familiar with healthcare-associated infections, and asking questions when you go into any healthcare facility. Don’t be shy about speaking up for your care.

Outside the healthcare setting you can help avoid an infection from one of your closest companions, your cell phone. Never take your phone into the restroom and be sure to wipe your phone with an alcohol-based wipe periodically. Be sure to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and do not place your phone on surfaces such as bus seats or restroom floors. And, as always, clean your hands and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Don’t forget that coming up is a week dedicated to raising awareness of the role infection prevention plays in improving patient safety. International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) is the week of October 16-22. There will also be a Twitter chat hosted by AHA and APIC on October 17 at 2 p.m. EDT so be sure to join the conversation by using the hashtag #IIPWChat. The focus will be on this year’s IIPW theme, learning how to “Break the Chain of Infection.” You can also check out the “Break the Chain of Infection” podcast here.

International Infection Prevention Week Oct 16 – 22

APIC

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) is October 16-22. IIPW is an annual week of recognition each year dedicated to raising awareness of the role infection prevention plays in improving patient safety. It was established in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan and is now run by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). It is recognized all over the world, and the 2016 theme is: “Break the Chain of Infection”.

Break the Chain of Infection is about stopping the chain reaction of events that occurs when infections spread to others. Highlights of this year’s theme include speaking up for your care, keeping your hands clean, asking about safe injection practices, and more. Many times infections are preventable and you can learn how to be an infection preventionist. For helpful tools and more information on how you can be a part of IIPW you can check out the IIPW website. You can access sample social media posts, newsletter copy, ideas for hosting an IIPW event and other online resources. These resources are meant for children and adults so everyone can learn how to break the chain of infection any day. There will also be a Twitter chat on October 17 at 2 p.m. EDT so be sure to join the conversation.

The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program offers a complete line of hand hygiene solutions to fully match the APIC guideline for infection prevention. Let your hands choose.