Quick Guide to Implementing New Health and Hygiene Guidelines
We take a look at the Healthcare industry in today’s deeper dive into different workplaces. Types of healthcare workplaces include facilities like alternate care sites, ambulatory care, assisted living facilities, blood and plasma facilities, dental settings, dialysis centers, hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities and pharmacies.
Keep reading to find recommended health and hygiene essential products to keep healthcare environments clean, healthy and productive.
Healthcare guidelines, requirements and standards will continue to change swiftly and become increasingly more stringent in the future. These heightened protocols will assist with overall preparedness and safety for the healthcare industry in the months and years to come.
Workers should social distance whenever possible to reduce facility risk.
- Cancel elective procedures and use telemedicine when possible.
- Limit the number of people allowed in by managing visitor access and movement within the facility.
- Isolate symptomatic patients as soon as possible. Set up separate, well-ventilated triage areas, place patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in private rooms with the door closed and with private bathrooms (as possible). Limit the number of staff providing their care.
- Install barriers to limit contact with patients at triage, like plastic protection screens and mobile dividers from Ghent and countertop shields from Waddell.
- Use floor markings to encourage and remind staff and patients of distancing. This can easily be achieved by using high quality and durable vibrantly colored tape, like Duck Brand Duck Tape. You can also create a traffic-flow pattern on the floor with tape.
Add additional signage, stations and protocol to emphasize hand hygiene.
- We recommend stocking bathrooms, breakrooms and production handwashing stations with antimicrobial hand soap. We like the convenient wall dispensers and foaming hand soap from Dial.
- Single-use disposable towels are one of the safest options for drying hands. We recommend using a sustainable choice for paper products, like 100% Recycled Folded Paper Towels from Marcal. They also offer 100% recycled facial tissue and toilet paper.
- Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be offered if soap and water are not immediately available. We also recommend putting hand sanitizer throughout the work environments to encourage workers to use it often. Dial offers gel and foam hand sanitizers with moisturizing options.
Disinfection / Sanitization
Cleaning and disinfecting of all high touch areas should occur in accordance with CDC guidelines, including at least twice per day in high traffic areas.
- This can be accomplished at workstations with lights that utilize UV light that continuously cleans and breaks down harmful microorganisms.
- Use an EPA-approved disinfectant that meets CDC requirements for use against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens. Lysol and Zep both offer a variety of cleaning products like disinfectant spray, all-purpose cleaner (with and without bleach), professional antibacterial cleaner and wipes to help with cleaning, disinfection and sanitization. Fresh Products carry a quat-based surface cleaner and deodorizer that can be used on a variety of surfaces and is extremely effective at eliminating virtually all odors on contact.
To prevent illness, staff should implement extra precautions that promote wellness in and around the facility.
- Screen everyone entering the facility for COVID-19 symptoms, implement source control for everyone entering the facility, regardless of symptoms.
- As employees enter their workplace there will be a need for temperature scanning and assessing mask compliance. Medline offers contactless thermometers. Additionally, temperature scanning and facial ID equipment, such as OneScreen GoSafe, allow for an orderly way to check employee temperatures as well as mask compliance. These machines are available in floor and desktop form. Results can be sent instantly to a destination of choice for monitoring and compliance.
- Facilities will have a heightened focus on PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). CDC recommendations along with federal and local government regulations will dictate appropriate PPE to be worn by employees. Medline and Curad both carry a variety of face masks, face shields, disposable gowns and gloves.
- Encourage everyone to use their own work tools. If sharing is necessary, refer to the disinfection and sanitization rules.
- Air filters in AC units and air purifiers may need to be changed more regularly. The longer a filter is in place, the more dirt, dust and allergens are trapped clogging the filter and decreasing their efficiency. Ideal offers a robust air purifier system removes 99.9% of pathogen viruses, bacteria, mold spores, and air pollutants
Additional details and resources can be found in the full Safe X Secure White paper.
If you would like more information about any of our recommended products, email us at [email protected]. Include your name, business name, location(s) and contact information and a Highlands representative will be in touch with you.