Maintaining product availability is one of the basic enablers of any hand hygiene and infection prevention regime. Anything which disrupts the availability of product will prevent users from cleaning or disinfecting their hands properly at the right times. That can lead to an increased risk of infection because most illnesses are transmitted by hand to hand contact or by touching a contaminated surface.
Hand cleansers and disinfectants are made available in most settings in wall mounted dispensers at convenient locations by the intended point of use. In hospitals, for example, this will include by entrances to main buildings, wards, treatment areas, consulting rooms as so on as well as in public spaces and washrooms.
Each use of the dispenser will deposit a fixed amount of product onto the user’s hands. Depending on the location and frequency of use this will mean that the dispenser will become empty at regular intervals. Those responsible for the dispensers will want to ensure they are refilled before this happens and regular checks will be part of their hourly or daily routine.
It follows that a larger pack of the same product should, all other things being equal, last longer between refills. While this should not negate the need for regular checks to ensure product is available, it should mean that there are fewer opportunities for the dispenser to become empty unnoticed. In other words, larger packs help to maintain product availability. Of course, the aim is always to avoid empty dispensers but the larger packs also reduce the total amount of time taken for refills.
For example, increasing the container size from 800 to 1200ml should mean that the dispenser lasts for 50% longer between refills (assuming the same amount of product is dispensed dring each use). This means that the dispenser needs to be refilled 33% fewer times during any given period. In other words, the risk of product becoming unavailable and the time consumed by managing refills are also reduced by 33%. That’s time that can be used for other important patient- or customer-facing tasks.
This was the concept behind Diversey’s new IntelliCare hand hygiene system. Products are supplied in 1200ml pouches instead of the 800ml size used in previous-generation systems. Diversey simplified the system because the design of the pouches and dispenser allow the product level to be viewed through a transparent window on the front of the unit. This allows a quick visual check whenever someone walks past the dispenser, effectively reducing the time needed to confirm that product is available to zero.
Nothing replaces the discipline of regular checks but Diversey went further with the advanced design of the IntelliCare system: the unit issues a warning whenever product is getting low so that the almost-empty pouch can be replaced with a full one. The fast-change and closed-loop design ensures the entire process can be completed in a few seconds to minimise disruption to ongoing tasks.