The Hospital study contrasted contaminants on door handles when the system was in use and not operational. Dr Ronnie Russell said:
“The study into a sample of door handles from different locations within the hospital (Toilet doors in the main but also included gym entrance, sluice door, clean linen room and patient-side door) clearly show that the handle hygiene system is effective in delivering sanitiser to door handles, resulting in negligible levels of contamination.”
“There can be very few individuals at this stage who are not acutely aware of the role of handwashing and sanitising in healthcare. It is a critical activity in breaking the spread of infection from contact surfaces to self, to others or to further contact surfaces. However, handwashing is not possible after every contact but it is only one of a number of infection control measures deployed in healthcare. Contact surfaces themselves require regular cleaning and disinfecting to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
Such cleaning and disinfection occurs only at intervals (which may be hours or even days) yet recontamination of the surfaces is always ongoing. Prime examples of heavily used contact surfaces are door handles and push-plates. Scientific studies have shown how pathogenic microbes can spread throughout a facility via these, coming from, for example, a heavily used toilet or an infected individual or contaminated cleaning cloths.
Many doors cannot be opened without making contact with a handle. It is agreed that it is a serious problem in many situations and various approaches have been taken to address this, ranging from fitting automatic doors to replacing all handles and push plates with copper fittings. This can be a quite expensive undertaking.
Handle Hygiene offers a simple and effective means to deliver a pulse of disinfectant to the handle each time the door closes i.e. after each time the handle is re-contaminated.
This constant disinfecting after use is more than even the most frequent and diligent hospital cleaning routine can hope to achieve and should be considered as another measure in achieving infection control.
The efficacy of the Handle Hygiene system in reducing the microbiological load on these surfaces has been demonstrated in trials in a number of healthcare facilities.
Could it be that the days of washing ones hands, only to re-contaminate them on a dirty handle, are over?”
Dr Ronnie Russell of Moyne institute of Preventive Medicine at TCD