International infection Prevention Week 2023

International infection Prevention Week 2023

Established in 1986, International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) celebrates Infection Preventionists and aims to assist in decreasing the spread of infection in healthcare facilities. This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Fundamentals of Infection Prevention” with a goal to return to the basics of infection prevention.

The Basics

Understanding the basics of infection prevention begins with hand hygiene. Cleaning hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer can make a huge difference in infection prevention. According to the World Health Organization, “Appropriate hand hygiene prevents up to 50% of avoidable infections acquired during healthcare delivery, including those affecting the health work force.”

Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance 

Infection Preventionists are working every day to break the chain of infection throughout the continuum of care. One of the best ways to reduce healthcare associated infections (HAIs) is to improve hand hygiene compliance rates. How do you improve hand hygiene compliance rates?

Acceptance + Compliance = Lower HAIs

If healthcare workers like the hand hygiene products available to them, they will use those products and, as a result, help prevent HAIs.

Symmetry Hand Hygiene 

Symmetry manufactures products that outperform other hand hygiene lines in overall quality and feel after repeated use. These products are gentle on healthcare workers’ hands, encouraging them to wash and sanitize them frequently.

With Point of Care Tools like lanyards, tray table suction cups, and cart brackets, Symmetry strives to make hand hygiene available throughout the workflow. The Symmetry Hand Hygiene Program also utilizes behavioral science to drive hand hygiene compliance. These unique placards, beacons, and visual lighting cues help draw attention to opportunities for hand hygiene in the moment.

Learn more about the complete program and how Symmetry works with Infection Preventionists to increase hand hygiene compliance and reduce infections in healthcare facilities by contacting your local representative.

Thank you to all the Infection Preventionists who are doing their part to keep healthcare facilities safe for everyone.

World Hand Hygiene Day

World Hand Hygiene Day

Celebrate World Hand Hygiene Day with us! Infection Preventionists around the world are doing so much to reduce the spread of disease in healthcare facilities and beyond. We want to show our thanks by promoting healthy hand hygiene practices.

This year, the World Health Organization’s slogan for World Hand Hygiene Day is, “Accelerate action together. SAVE LIVES – Clean Your Hands.” Their aim is to improve hand hygiene at point of care by reminding healthcare workers to love the 5 Moments.

What are the 5 Moments? 

The 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene are key moments 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.

  1. Before Patient Contact
  2. Before Aseptic Task
  3. After Body Fluid Exposure Risk
  4. After Patient Contact
  5. After Contact with Patient Surroundings

Reducing the spread of HAIs begins with clean hands. Healthcare staff members, patients, and visitors can all benefit when hands are cleaned during the 5 moments.

Improving Hand Hygiene at Point of Care 

Point of Care refers to the moments when healthcare workers are in contact with patients and are at the highest risk of spreading infections. This includes most of the 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene. By increasing opportunities for hand hygiene at Point of Care, healthcare facilities can keep hand sanitizer and hand wash available at key times, including before and after patient contact. 

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. This means that a complete hand hygiene program includes Point of Care tools that give healthcare workers easy access to hand hygiene opportunities while working directly with patients. 

Access to hand sanitizer at a W.O.W., tray table, anesthesia cart, or on your person makes hand hygiene more convenient for workers. Symmetry® offers Point of Care options for all of these and more:

  1. Tray Table/W.O.W. to ml
  2. Suction Cup 550 ml
  3. 50 ml Lanyard
  4. Suction Cup 50 ml
  5. Anesthesia Cart Bracket 550 ml

Hand hygiene is a year-round commitment for healthcare facilities. We thank our Infection Preventionists this World Hand Hygiene Day for the work they do all year long to keep us safe.

Contact your local representative to see how these tools can help improve compliance in your facility.

Maintenance Products, Programs, and Training for Healthcare Facilities

Maintenance Products, Programs, and Training for Healthcare Facilities

Combatting the spread of HAIs (healthcare associated infections) in healthcare facilities is a complex task that requires a multi-faceted approach. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities require an effective cleaning and maintenance program to protect staff, visitors, and patients from the spread of germs and illness.

Hand Hygiene 

The CDC states that hand hygiene is one of the most important steps in reducing the spread of germs. Making hand sanitizer and hand washes readily available to staff and visitors can help reduce the risk of the spread of germs, but there are other ways an effective hand hygiene program can combat disease.

In addition to top-of-the-line products, offering education and awareness materials alongside behavior modification tools that inspire immediate hand hygiene practices can increase compliance rates in healthcare facilities.

The Symmetry® Hand Hygiene Program offers those tools and more. Symmetry’s Point of Care tools make hand hygiene available when it’s needed most. For example, the 50 ml Tray Table/W.O.W. Clip puts sanitizer right at the patient’s bedside for easy access before and after patient care.

Cleaning and Disinfecting 

Proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures can have a huge impact on the spread of germs in any healthcare facility. The Buckeye Eco® Proportioning Program simplifies cleaning and disinfecting with automatic dilution, ensuring important products like disinfectants are properly diluted every time.

Eco products include cleaners, disinfectants, and sanitizers for every surface in a hospital or healthcare facility. EPA expects products on List N to kill all strains and variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) when used according to the label directions. All Eco disinfectants are on List-N.

However, a cleaning program is not complete without the proper training. Cleaning and disinfecting procedures need to be followed carefully so areas like patient rooms and hospital waiting rooms remain free of germs. To ensure hospital staff have access to the information they need, Buckeye created the Prescription Training Program.

Prescription is a complete maintenance program for hospitals that presents the products, procedures, and training needed to meet your facility’s highest standards. The Prescription program provides training in routine cleaning, patient room cleaning, surgery room cleaning, restroom, carpet care, hard floor care, and product safety. This program and its resources are available online, 24 hours a day.

Reducing the spread of HAIs is a constant battle. Make sure the people in your healthcare facility have access to the tools they need to combat illness. Contact your local sales representative to learn more.

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.

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.