A Hygienic Upper Hand For Hospitals

We put our trust in hospitals to be safe places, protecting us and healing us of disease, illness and injury. Hospital administrations and staff take this responsibility very much to heart, being sure to follow laws and regulations crafted to ensure a baseline of hygiene standards while searching for new tools, methods and technologies to further protect their staff and patients. One of the top hygiene priorities for hospitals is air purity; they are consistently on the lookout for better, more efficient solutions for reducing airborne particles and surface pathogens. Touchless XLERATOR® Hand Dryers with Electrostatic HEPA (eHEPA®) Filtration offer just such a solution.

Promoting eHEPA in HospitalsHow Can Hospital Hygiene Be Elevated?

Hospitals should have a strict protocol in place for cleaning patient and examination rooms. First, rooms should be assessed, and obstacles removed if they may impede safe, efficient cleaning. Second, the cleaner should progress from top to bottom and from less-used, cleaner surfaces to frequently used, potentially dirtier surfaces to minimize the spread of viruses and bacteria. 

UV-C technology is also making a positive impact on hospital hygiene, especially in bathrooms and other high-risk areas. UV-C is effective in inactivating more stubborn pathogens that are resistant to basic cleaning and disinfecting methods.

Hospitals can also make a significant impact on hygiene by replacing paper towels and outdated dryers with touchless XLERATOR Hand Dryers with eHEPA Filtration. 

What Are The Hygienic Advantages of Hand Dryers?

Drying hands thoroughly is an essential step in effective hand hygiene. The CDC states that “germs spread more easily when hands are wet, so make sure to dry your hands completely, whatever method you use.” A University of Auckland, New Zealand, study found that wet hands are 1,000 times more likely to transfer bacteria than dry hands.

Touchless technology is a game-changer for restroom hygiene. Manual restroom fixtures like soap dispensers, faucets and paper towel dispensers can harbor bacteria and viruses that are able to survive on surfaces for many hours. Considering that 80% of germs are transmitted by touch, the development of touchless fixture technology is a leap forward in bathroom hygiene. Staff, patients and guests have begun to expect it—and are likely to think less of an establishment that hasn’t made the upgrade.

While there are some misleading articles on the internet suggesting that hand dryers spread viruses and bacteria, a recent comprehensive study by the University of Arizona compared multiple studies looking at the hygienic benefits of paper towels versus hand dryers and concluded: “[we] found no empirical data to support one hand drying method over another from a health and safety perspective.” From this level playing field, XLERATOR Hand Dryers with eHEPA raise the hygiene standard exponentially by eliminating airborne particles. eHEPA filtration removes 99.999% of viruses and 99.97% of potentially present bacteria at 0.3 microns from the airstream and does so without sacrificing efficacy or energy efficiency. 

Another benefit of switching from paper towels to touchless XLERATOR Hand Dryers with eHEPA is the elimination of paper waste from the environment and the pathogens that it often carries. In fact, an American Journal of Infection Control study found that even unused paper towels made from recycled fibers contained germs including flu and E. coli. 

Installing XLERATOR Hand Dryers in hospitals also reduces work hours for bathroom maintenance, resulting in a far less frequent need to clean the floor, empty waste bins or unclog backed up plumbing caused by improper disposal. 

The Northwestern Memorial Hospital Infection Control Board conducted extensive research into hand dryer options and concluded that XLERATOR was the most hygienic hand drying option. Over 100 XLERATOR Hand Dryers were installed throughout the facility to meet the board’s rigorous hygiene standards. 

CDC Wash Your Hands PosterPatient Safety and Hygiene

Healthcare facilities are high-traffic areas. People are coming and going all day, every day. That’s why a thorough sanitation protocol is absolutely essential to keep transmission of pathogens to an absolute minimum.

Frequent hand washing and sanitizing is a must for anyone coming into a hospital, clinic or practice. Beyond that baseline, personal protective equipment (PPE) can help provide additional protection from transmission of surface or airborne pathogens. Masks, gloves, gowns and eye protection are often worn by health professionals, and depending on the circumstances, some PPE will be recommended for patients and visitors, as well. 

If you are planning a visit to a loved one in the hospital, remember to practice proper hygiene. This includes frequent hand washing and drying, preferably with a touchless hand dryer that allows you to minimize contact with surfaces. Remember to keep several feet between you and other whenever possible and to respect visiting hours.

Advanced Disinfection Technology

As technology continues to advance, we expect to see new equipment designed to enhance hygiene, and healthcare facilities will likely make use of it. There is already highly effective equipment on the market that help to minimize the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), including:

  • Air purification systems, including eHEPA
  • UV-C disinfection systems
  • Hand hygiene/sanitation systems including touchless technology
  • Sterilization equipment