On any given day, whilst in the midst of receiving medical treatment in hospitals or healthcare facilities around the world, many hundreds of people will die unnecessarily from infection. Approximately 5% of hospital patients will suffer hospital-associated infections (HAIs) and about 0.3% or an estimated 100,000 in the US alone will die.
Healthcare associated infections are considered preventable and are attributable to:
- patients being immuno-compromised;
- patients or hospital environments being sources of infectious disease;
- patients exposure to infection by the hands of healthcare workers (HCW) or self-inoculation.
Hand-hygiene (hand washing or use of hand sanitizer) is highly effective and considered by the CDC to be the single most effective means of preventing these infections as hands are responsible for the spread of an estimated 80% of common infectious diseases. Average hand-hygiene compliance in healthcare facilities (carried out when necessary for prevention) is considered as being 40% to 50%, however.
Maintaining hand-hygiene can be challenging for healthcare workers due to:
- lack of available hand-hygiene products at point of care;
- time constraints;
- patient care priorities and emergencies;
- dry, chapped or irritated skin;
- assumptions that hands, not being visibly dirty, are not in need of cleaning.
Constant exposure to pathogens and compromised hand-hygiene can contribute to:
- absenteeism from work due to illness;
- reduced efficiency at work due to employees being ill;
- "presenteeism" - where infected employees, being at work, infect others.
Poor hand-hygiene affects more than only those who work with or handle patients, others working in the same environment or sharing the same facilities are equally at risk to these infectious diseases if hand-hygiene is not maintained.
Many approaches have attempted to raise compliance rates, but until now no ideal solution has presented itself.
The Orbel™ Instant Hand Sanitizer Applicator
The Orbel™ is a portable hand sanitizer reservoir and applicator that conveniently dispenses highly effective hand sanitizer by way of a swipe of a hand. Its portability and ease of use makes it a convenient, access-anywhere solution, enabling healthcare workers to maintain hand-hygiene compliance irrespective of activity type, whilst preventing loss in productivity.
The Orbel™ is available with a highly effective hand sanitizer (ethyl-alcohol or water-based formulations) can kill and neutralize infectious diseases found in healthcare environments and transmitted by healthcare workers and even patients themselves. Within any given workplace, a wide range of infectious diseases can be present. Practised use of the Orbel™ by healthcare workers and patients will drive potential pathogen hand counts down, lowering infection risks and maintaining health and wellbeing in their environment.
The Orbel™ saves time and helps protect healthcare workers and patients from a variety of human pathogens; it also:
- can contribute to an increase in work performance and productivity;
- can contribute to a reduction and cost of absenteeism. Reports estimate absenteeism costs the US economy $227 billion a year due to lost productivity associated with illness;
- demonstrates commitment to employee health and wellbeing and forming the cornerstone of any workplace wellness program;
- complements existing hand-hygiene protocols;
- habituates good hand-hygiene practice;
- reduces costs associated with illness to employees;
- improves institutional compliance regimes;
- is cost effective when measured by ROI.
The Orbel™ Advantage: Healthcare Infection Control
1. Muscle memory
Replaces conscious recollection of the nearest wall hung or 2 handed dispenser unit. Conventional protocols require complex mental processes: in remembering the location of wall-mounted dispenser units, in acknowledging when to invoke an interaction with the wall mounted dispenser unit, and in how to balance the hand-hygiene imperative while completing tasks.
The Orbel™ reduces these risk processes to muscle memory function.
2. Mitigates cross-contamination
The Orbel™ enables application to those crucial parts of the hand often missed in hand washing or when sanitzer is delivered in a droplet to the palm: fingertips, index finger and thumb.
Being personal to the user, the Orbel™ obviates the cross-contamination risk of multiple-user access to a single wall-mounted dispenser or faucet.
3. Significantly increase compliance
Infection rates are driven by those healthcare workers who are often in contact with patients and whom, for various reasons, wash or sanitize their hands the least. These healthcare workers are at “ground zero” where transmission of infection occurs.
Orbel’s significant impact is not only in increasing average compliance (a good thing) but more importantly bringing up the bottom levels of compliance where the greatest risk of transmission exists. Its most significant impact will be on habitual non-compliers where hand-hygiene is most needed.
A study published in the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology journal reported that even minimal improvements in hand-hygiene compliance lead to substantial monetary savings for hospitals. This study stated that even a one percent (1%) increase in hand-hygiene compliance would result in annual savings of $39,650 to a 200-bed hospital.
Increased hand-hygiene compliance will reduce infection rates
To those discrete events where, because of circumstances, hands become contaminated and life can actually hang in the balance. Here at this critical point, the race against time is between the ever-present Orbel™ and the dispenser units that remain unused due to poor location, are empty at the critical moment, and for lack of time.
Orbel™ compliance monitoring is intuitive and based on positive behavior reinforcement. Healthcare workers’ initials can be put on each Orbel™ distributed at the beginning of their workday to be turned in empty and recorded at the end of their shift. With an estimated 60 doses of hand sanitizer, complemented by frequent hand washing, ideal compliance is achieved.
6. Compliance is not complex, expensive or embarrassing
The positive reinforcement provided by the Orbel™ is a powerful and effective tool to help change healthcare workers’ behavior. Far preferable to negative reinforcement and reprimand, the Orbel™ proves effective at compliance improvement and audit, that neither the healthcare worker nor the facility need to be embarrassed by negative compliance records.
In studies using body-worn hand antisepsis dispensers, hand-hygiene compliance has been seen to increase by almost 30 times, decreasing HAI rates by over 50%. Activated by one hand, they have been shown to decrease hospital acquired infection rates by around an additional 40% beyond the reduction benefits effected by wall mounted dispenser protocols.
With the Orbel™ Instant Hand Sanitizer Applicator increasing hand-hygiene compliance efficiently, reducing HAIs, improving patient safety and saving money has never been easier.
For further reading, consult the References section.
For related hand-hygiene meetings and events, consult our Calendar of Events section.