Prepare for Flu Season with Symmetry and Eco

Prepare for Flu Season with Symmetry and Eco

CDC data shows that more than 9,100 positive flu tests have been recorded over the first three weeks of the flu season. This is the highest number of positive tests that have been recorded early in a season since the 2009-10 season.

To prevent the flu, the CDC recommends getting the yearly flu vaccine. You can also take a number of everyday preventative actions including avoiding close contact with those who are sick, covering your coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and washing your hands often.

It’s important for schools, hospitals, and retail facilities to take steps to protect students, patients, and employees from the flu and other diseases that spread during this time of year. One of the first lines of defense is hand hygiene. Ensure people in your facility have access to effective, gentle hand hygiene products that are proven to reduce common disease-causing bacteria.

Symmetry® offers hand sanitizers and hand washes that people want to use. The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program offers unique tools that can help educate employees and visitors about hand hygiene and promote proper hand hygiene practices. The Symmetry Behavior Modification System utilizes unique placards and signs that draw attention to hand hygiene opportunities, helping you create a culture of hand hygiene and reduce illness in your facility.

Establishing a consistent, effective cleaning and disinfecting program can reduce the spread of the flu and other germs in your facility. The Buckeye Eco® Proportioning Program has cleaners and disinfectants for all surface types. Several Eco disinfectants have also been approved by the EPA for use against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

For schools and universities, the Buckeye Honors® Custodial Training Program can provide an additional level of support during flu season. With training modules on proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures for classroom, hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, and more, Honors can ensure your custodial staff are trained and prepared during the 2022-23 flu season and beyond.

Contact your Buckeye representative for more information about how Buckeye products and programs can help you combat the flu this year.

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) 2022

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) 2022

This week is International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW). Established in 1986, IIPW raises awareness of the role infection prevention plays in improving patient safety. This year’s theme, “The Future is Infection Prevention: 50 Years of Infection Prevention”, aims to show appreciation for APIC’s past work in infection prevention while inspiring new IPs to continue this important work.

Though there are many ways to reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections (HAIs), the most important way is to clean your hands. Symmetry strives to reduce HAIs with gentle products that people want to use in reliable dispensing systems.

Symmetry’s programmatic approach to hand hygiene educates and encourages proper hand hygiene practice with educational tools, the Symmetry Behavior Modification System, and Point of Care tools. Its education and awareness tools include posters and wall charts, designed to explain the “How” and “Why” of proper hand hygiene. The Symmetry Behavior Modification System consists of a series of unique placards and signs with messages designed to inspire and maximize hand hygiene practices. Symmetry Point of Care items include suction cups, brackets, and lanyards that make it possible to access hand sanitizer while workers are in contact with patients and are at the highest risk of spreading germs.

On behalf of Symmetry and Buckeye International, we’d like to thank our IPs for the work they continue to do while fighting COVID-19, the flu, and other healthcare associated infections. International Infection Prevention Week happens every third week of October, but infection prevention is a full-time job. Check out all of the tools APIC provides to keep you informed about infection prevention here.

Contact your local representative for more information about Symmetry products and how a complete hand hygiene program can improve compliance in your facility.

Omicron and Buckeye’s 4 Levels of Protection

Omicron and Buckeye’s 4 Levels of Protection

COVID-19 continues to evolve, causing new variants to occur, many of which are being tracked as the pandemic continues. Because these variants are each unique, they can spread at different speeds and can be more resistant to treatments or vaccines. The COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has been detected in most states and is rapidly increasing the proportion of COVID-19 cases in the US. In addition to getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and maintaining social distance, keeping your environment clean can go a long way in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Facilities hoping to navigate the pandemic should develop a step-by-step cleaning and disinfecting program that will protect people who visit. Buckeye’s Door to Floor: 4 Levels of Protection program can help provide those who enter your facility with peace of mind during the pandemic.

Level 1: Protect Yourself with the Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program

CDC Recommendation: Hand washing is one of the best ways you can help reduce the spread of germs.

Symmetry can help your facility implement a hand hygiene program, providing tools that promote education, awareness, and motivation to practice hand hygiene.

Level 2: Intermittently protect your facility with the Eco® Proportioning Program

CDC Recommendations: Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces following product label directions and proper dwell times. 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved several Buckeye products for use against SARS-Related Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) [cause of COVID-19], including Buckeye Eco One-Step Disinfectant-Deodorizer-Cleaner E22. The Eco Proportioning Program comes with training materials and tools to help staff with proper disinfecting procedures. 

Level 3: Use Clarion® 25 Microban® Antimicrobial Floor Finish and Arena® Microban Antimicrobial Wood Floor Coating

Microban technology is built-in to these products during the manufacturing process. When microbes come in contact with the product surface, Microban technology penetrates the cell wall of the microorganism and disrupts the cell, making the microorganism unable to grow and reproduce. * 

*Microban technology does not protect users against disease-causing microorganisms. Microban Products Company makes neither direct nor implied public health claims. Normal cleaning practices should be maintained.

Level 4: Protect your facility with Gateway Liners and recommendations

Use stronger, better fitting liners to minimize contaminant exposure. Gateway Liners performs rigorous strength, weight, puncture and tear tests.

Properly dispose trash into lined containers and frequently replace liners. Frequently clean and disinfect inside and outside of trash containers. 

Buckeye takes COVID-19 seriously and continues to take a proactive approach in our effort to help minimize exposure to illness. Buckeye programs strive to educate the public on the importance of best cleaning, disinfecting, and hand hygiene practices. Contact your local representative to find out more about Buckeye’s Door to Floor: 4 Levels of Protection program.

Symmetry Hands-Free Dispenser Stand

Symmetry Hands-Free Dispenser Stand

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding the right hand hygiene products and dispensers has become a top priority. Users want products that work and dispensers they can rely on. The Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program has always provided products people want to use and dispensers that are reliable and durable. Symmetry’s newest dispenser is hands-free providing touchless access to hand sanitizer.

Why Use Hands-Free?

Though no studies have proven that touchless dispensers can decrease the spread of infection, research has indicated that people may prefer touchless dispensers and, in some cases, it can increase healthy hand hygiene practices. A study on hand hygiene in healthcare facilities published by Larson et al, concluded that, “Although no evidence indicates that devices that must be manually pressed to dispense cleanser increase the risk of transferring microbes, healthcare staff may express concern about the safety of touching dispensers and may prefer dispensers that are more accessible and easier to use than manual ones are.” Providing a touchless dispenser option for those who are concerned about touching dispensers can increase peace of mind among employees and customers in any facility.

Why Choose Symmetry?

Many hands-free dispensers rely on sensors and batteries, they often malfunction and require maintenance. The Symmetry Hands-Free Dispenser Stand does not require batteries and has few moving parts to ensure it works perfectly every time. Because the Symmetry Hands-Free Dispenser is pedal activated, there is no risk of dripping or sensor malfunction.

Other Important Features

The Hands-Free Dispenser Stand is made with UV protected HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) plastic and the spring, pedal pin, and screws are zinc coated for corrosion protection. This makes the dispenser stand perfect for outdoor use.

This dispenser also uses the same 1250 ml bags as standard Symmetry dispensers to simplify and standardize hand hygiene in your facility.

In addition to the Hands-Free Dispenser Stand, the Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program includes a full line of effective hand hygiene products and dispensers, complete with education, awareness and behavior modification tools, and training for your needs. Contact your local Buckeye representative for more information about the Symmetry Hands-Free Dispenser Stand and the Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program.  

COVID-19 Relief Package for K-12 Schools

COVID-19 Relief Package for K-12 Schools

On Dec 27, 2020, the COVID-19 Relief Package was signed into law, providing additional financial assistance to K-12 schools. This funding can be used towards cleaning supplies and programs, staff training, and other resources needed to address coronavirus in schools.

The new relief package allows for a broad range of uses and specifically mentions:

  • Providing resources for principles to address coronavirus in their schools
  • Training staff on the best ways to sanitize and schools and proper use of personal protective equipment
  • Purchasing PPE and the supplies needed to clean and disinfect schools

Find more information on the COVID-19 relief package here.

CDC Resources for Schools

The CDC has released a cleaning, disinfection and hand hygiene toolkit for school administrators. With PDFs on cleaning and disinfecting in classrooms and other key areas of your school, as well as guidance on how often to clean and disinfect certain areas, the CDC can help you make and implement a plan to keep students, faculty, and staff healthy.

How Can Buckeye Help? 

Buckeye’s maintenance programs provide door to floor protection for schools. Buckeye’s 4 levels of protection include hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, antimicrobial floor protection, and custodial training that follows CDC recommendations.

Level 1: Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program

The CDC states that hand washing is one of the best ways to help reduce the spread of germs. The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program provides tools that promote education, awareness, and motivation to practice hand hygiene.

Level 2: Eco® Proportioning Program

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved several Buckeye products for use against SARS-Related Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) [cause of COVID-19], including Buckeye Eco One-Step Disinfectant-Deodorizer-Cleaner E22.

Following CDC guidelines and label directions, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects with the help of the Eco Proportioning Program. Buckeye’s Eco Proportioning Program is fully integrated with effective, hermetically sealed products for any applications.

Level 3: Clarion® 25 Microban® Antimicrobial Floor Finish

Continually protect your facility with Clarion 25 Microban Antimicrobial Floor Finish and Arena® 300 Microban Antimicrobial Wood Floor Coating. While not a substitute for normal cleaning practices, Microban protection continuously fights the growth of microbes, and makes floors easier to clean - keeping them cleaner, longer at no additional cost to you.

Level 4: Honors® Custodial Training Program

The Buckeye Honors Program is a complete custodial program for schools and universities that presents the products, procedures, and training needed to meet a school or university’s highest standards. Honors features videos and tests on enhanced disinfecting and proper hand hygiene procedures during COVID-19.

For more information about all of Buckeye’s cleaning programs and how Buckeye can help your school combat COVID-19, contact your local Buckeye representative.

Be Prepared This Flu Season

Be Prepared This Flu Season

Preventing the spread of the flu begins with the flu shot. This year getting the flu shot means more than protecting yourself and others from the flu. It can reduce the strain on healthcare systems as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC recommends getting your flu shot before the end of October, but the vaccine is usually available for most of the flu season.

In addition to getting the flu shot, implementing a hand hygiene program can keep germs from spreading in your facility. Washing your hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. The Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program offers a complete line of hand hygiene products that are gentle on your hands while reducing common disease-causing bacteria.

Symmetry also offers tools to help encourage people in your facility to practice proper hand hygiene. These tools are key to reducing the spread of diseases like the flu and COVID-19. The Symmetry Behavior Modification System (SBMS) uses behavioral science to drive immediate hand hygiene practices with eye-catching customizable placards and signs. Symmetry also offers educational signs, posters, and videos to demonstrate the importance of hand hygiene.

Facilities can also fight the flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory infections with Buckeye’s disinfectants. Disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces is key in preventing the spread of germs. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved several Buckeye products for use against COVID-19. These products include Buckeye Terminator™, Eco® One-Step Disinfectant-Deodorizer-Cleaner E22, Sanicare Disinfecting Wipes, and Sanicare TBX.

For more information about Buckeye programs and how to prevent the spread of the flu in your facility, contact your local Buckeye representative.

Hand Sanitizer Manufacturing Standards

Hand Sanitizer Manufacturing Standards

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many new manufacturers have registered with the FDA to produce hand sanitizers, but not all hand sanitizers are created equal. Consumers have reported issues with new hand sanitizers, ranging from the product smell to the inclusion of potentially harmful ingredients. 

To date, the FDA has identified nearly 150 hand sanitizers that contain methanol, a “toxic alcohol” that can cause blindness and/or death when absorbed through the skin or swallowed. The FDA is working with manufacturers to recall these products and cautions consumers to be vigilant.

The FDA is addressing potential safety concerns related to products that are not in line with its policy standards by releasing temporary guidance for these additional hand hygiene manufacturers. These new manufacturers, breweries and distilleries can produce sanitizer without oversight from the FDA as long as the ethanol is derived from distillation or fermentation processes typically used for consumable goods, and no other additives or other chemicals have been added to it.

Many of these “start up” products lack emollients that protect the skin from harshness of repeated use of alcohol. They may also have an off-putting odor, similar to garbage or tequila - because new companies have not filtered their ethanol, a process that removes contaminates and malodor.

Symmetry maintains superior manufacturing standards amid the influx of hand sanitizers hitting the market during COVID-19. Since its founding, Symmetry has led the way with product formulas that are gentle on the skin with pleasant fragrances. Symmetry products do not contain methanol and are manufactured in an FDA registered and ISO certified facility. They contain only FDA compliant ethanol and perform to the highest standards.

When tested against other products, Symmetry’s gentle formulation is preferred. This is demonstrated consistently with side by side trials in the highest use environments. Evaluate Symmetry products by conducting a Symmetry Challenge in your facility.  

Prepare for Reopening During COVID-19

Prepare for Reopening During COVID-19

Restaurants, retail stores, and schools are preparing to reopen during COVID-19 and the CDC urges these facilities to develop and implement a plan to reduce the risk of exposure.

Following CDC protocols, Buckeye programs can help keep these facilities on the right track. With cleaning products, disinfectants, hand sanitizers and more, Buckeye programs have the necessary tools for visitor well-being.

Complete Hand Hygiene Program 

The Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program offers a complete line of hand hygiene products. Symmetry’s high quality, low cost products are less likely to contribute to dry hands and leave no sticky residue behind.

In addition to high quality products and reliable dispensing systems, Symmetry offers education and awareness materials, and behavior modification tools. Education and awareness materials include wall charts, posters, product literature, and handwashing videos that focus on the “HOW” and “WHY” or proper hand hygiene. The Symmetry Behavior Modification System uses customizable placards, visual lighting cues, and more to capture attention in the moment and inspire an immediate hand hygiene event.

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting Program

Frequently clean and disinfect high touch objects, surfaces and areas using our EPA recognized emerging pathogen disinfectants approved for use during COVID-19. Our Eco Proportioning Program is fully integrated with effective, hermetically sealed products, including EPA emerging pathogen disinfectants, for any application.

The complete Eco® Proportioning Program allows you to consider space availability, how many products you will dilute, cost, and whether or not your products need additional security. Eco products are diluted automatically through Eco proportioning systems, ensuring their effectiveness and preventing product waste.

Microban® Antimicrobial Product Floor Protection 

A recent study conducted in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and a COVID-19 General Ward (GW) at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China confirmed that the virus was widely distributed on floors, computer mice, trash cans, and sickbed handrails. Another study found that bacteria and fungi can live on soles of shoes for up to five days.

Clarion® 25 Microban Antimicrobial Floor Finish and Arena® 300 Microban Antimicrobial Wood Floor Coating can provide an added level of 24/7 proactive protection against damaging microbes. Though Microban is not a substitute for normal cleaning practices, Microban protection continuously fights the growth of microbes, and makes floors easier to clean - keeping floors cleaner, longer at no additional cost to you.

Training Programs 

Buckeye’s training programs provide step-by-step manuals and customized wall charts to accompany in-depth, in-person training. Provide your staff with the proper products and procedures to meet the needs of your facility.

Social Distancing Decals

In order to reopen, facilities need to maintain safe daily habits in order to reduce the risk of exposure. This includes reminding patrons to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and avoid public places when sick. Buckeye can help bring awareness to the people in your facility with social distancing signage at entrances, on floors, on walls, on carts, and at registers.

For more information about how Buckeye can assist your facility in reopening, contact your local Buckeye representative. You can also visit the CDC’s website for information and guidance on how and when to reopen your facility.

Buckeye and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Buckeye and the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to evolve, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself and those around you. Buckeye takes COVID-19 seriously and continues to take a proactive approach in our effort to prevent the spread of germs. Buckeye programs strive to educate the public on the importance of best cleaning, disinfecting, and hand hygiene practices.

CDC Recommendations

Because there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the CDC has presented several guidelines to help slow the spread. The CDC recommends:

Cleaning Your Hands Often Avoid Close Contact Covering Your Mouth and Nose with a Cloth in Public Covering Coughs and Sneezes Cleaning and Disinfecting

Cleaning and Disinfecting

According to the CDC, everyone should clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. As always, if surfaces are dirty, clean them. Then disinfect with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant.

Several Buckeye products have been pre-approved by the EPA for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens and can be used during the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. This list includes:

Buckeye Sanicare Mint Quat® Buckeye Eco Neutral Disinfectant E23 Buckeye Eco One-Step Disinfectant-Deodorizer-Cleaner E22 Buckeye Sanicare Lemon Quat® Buckeye Sanicare Pine Quat® Buckeye Sanicare Quat 128® Buckeye Sanicare Quat 256® Buckeye Sani-Q2TM Buckeye Terminator®

24/7 Antimicrobial Product Protection 

A recent study confirmed that bacteria and fungi can live on soles of shoes for up to five days, making it important to remember to disinfect floors and shoes. In Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and a COVID-19 General Ward (GW) at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan China, another study showed SARS-CoV-2 positive tests for surfaces samples of floors, shoe soles of medical staff, computer mice, trash cans, sickbed handrails, and doorknobs.

Buckeye’s Clarion® 25 Antimicrobial Floor Finish can proactively and continuously fight microbes on floors. With 24/7 protection, Microban® technology disrupts the cells microorganisms making them unable to grow and reproduce. While not a substitute for normal cleaning practices, Microban protection continuously fights the growth of microbes, and makes floors easier to clean - keeping them cleaner, longer.

Hand Hygiene Cleaning your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19. The CDC suggests using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap is not readily available. The Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program offers hand soaps and hand sanitizers that will help keep your hands clean after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

To find the most up-to-date information about CVOID-19 and how you can help slow the spread, visit the CDC and WHO websites.

Hand Hygiene Compliance: Point of Care

Hand Hygiene Compliance: Point of Care

Due to the high risk of the spread of HAIs, the Joint Commission recognizes individual failure to follow hand hygiene procedures during point of care as a deficiency. Point of Care refers to the moments when healthcare workers are in contact with patients and are at the highest risk of spreading infections. If a deficiency is recognized, it will result in a Requirement for Improvement (RFI) under the Infection Prevention and Control (IC) chapter for all Joint Commission accredited programs. All RFIs must be addressed before an organization is accredited.

Facilities can increase hand hygiene compliance, reduce the spread of germs, and improve HCAHPS scores with Symmetry® Point of Care items. Symmetry Point of Care items give healthcare workers easy access to hand hygiene opportunities while working directly with patients.

5 Moments for Hand Hygiene

The World Health Organization has identified 5 moments for hand hygiene. These 5 moments define key times when healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene. This evidence-based, field-tested, user-centered approach is designed to be easy to learn, logical and applicable in a wide range of settings, including at point of care.

  1. Before Patient Contact – Clean your hands before touching a patient when approaching him or her.
  2. Before Aseptic Task – Clean your hands immediately before performing a clean/aseptic procedure.
  3. After Body Fluid Exposure Risk – Clean your hands immediately after an exposure risk to body fluids (and after glove removal).
  4. After Patient Contact – Clean your hands immediately after touching a patient and his or her immediate surroundings when leaving.
  5. After Contact with Patient Surroundings – Clean your hands after touching any object or furniture in the patient’s immediate surroundings, when leaving – even without touching the patient.

Point of Care Tools 

The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program’s Point of Care Tools are designed to be readily available as a healthcare professional cares for a patient. During the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene, Symmetry’s Point of Care Tools keep hand sanitizer nearby for ease of use.

In hospitals, often the most contaminated high touch surfaces are bed rails, bed surfaces, supply carts, over-bed tables, and intravenous pumps. Point of Care Tools can be placed on or near these surfaces to provide healthcare workers, patients, and visitors the opportunity to clean their hands immediately after contact.

Symmetry Point of Care Tools include 50 ml Tray Table/W.O.W.s, 550 ml Suction Cups, 50 ml Lanyards, 50 ml Suction Cups, and 550 ml Anesthesia Cart Brackets.

Contact your local Buckeye representative to find out more information about Symmetry’s Point of Care Tools and how Symmetry can improve hand hygiene compliance in your healthcare facility.