Highlighting good hygiene habits in LTC

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Carrie Schuster
Carrie Schuster

We recently celebrated World Health Day, celebrated the founding of the World Health Organization, renewing the call to action to work together to raise public health standards around the world. It was also a chance to focus on some of the most important health issues facing us today, such as how we can continue to adequately take care of an increasingly aging population.

The elderly often have increased health needs, which means long-term patient care for this group needs to address their specific, often specialized, conditions, some of which are preventable.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., the common cold) can be prevented through handwashing. Precluding these everyday illnesses through handwashing can also have a much broader positive effect on overall wellbeing, as reducing infections helps avoid overuse of antibiotics, which is the leading cause of antibiotic resistance around the world. As health and well-being are intricately tied to personal hygiene, long-term care facilities should continue providing proactive solutions for an environment that is less conducive to germ spread.

Good hygiene is a joint effort that depends on healthcare workers' continued dedication to best practices as well as patients and visitors alike getting into the habit of effective handwashing. This effort begins with igniting conversations about the impact of hand hygiene and the key role it plays in keeping those around you healthy. At SCA, our expertise as the global hygiene leader uniquely equips us with the resources to lead this initiative. We're known for our effective, sustainable and state-of-the-art innovative products that support and encourage hand hygiene compliance. 

Tork, an SCA brand, is dedicated to providing the hygiene products and solutions to help make good hand hygiene a priority for people around the world. Here are just a few ways we do this:

  • Education – The Tork Healthy Hands website provides healthcare facilities with tools that remind staff, patients and visitors of the importance of hand hygiene. By prompting restroom visitors with the necessity of handwashing, we help spread the knowledge of healthy habits that impact wellbeing in hygiene-critical areas. This aligns with SCA's larger Hygiene Matters initiative that aims to raise awareness of the undeniable link between hygiene and overall health and well-being around the world.

  • Innovation – Leverage technology such as Tork EasyCube™ Intelligent Restroom System, which uses sensor-equipped dispensers in facilities' general restroom areas to remotely track supply levels, ensuring that they are always equipped with enough soap and hand towels to support good hygiene. This technology also helps staff focus their cleaning efforts on critical areas such as patient rooms, rather than spending time routinely checking visitor restrooms that may not need attention.

  • Quality Products – Our expertise in hygiene, functional design and sustainability results in a line of products that maximize restroom health and maintenance efficiency.  

As long-term care facilities prepare for the aging baby boomer generation and develop solutions to provide specialized care to an increasing number of patients this World Health Day, let's also focus on the everyday hygiene habits that improve the foundation of wellbeing.

Facilities everywhere can implement the products and technology to encourage proper hygiene habits, which can in turn help limit the spread of disease and keep everyone healthy. 

Carrie Schuster is the Marketing Manager, Sustainability and Hygiene, at SCA Tork.

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