Category Archives: Hand Hygiene

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Creating a Facility Maintenance Program: Dos and Don’ts

canstockphoto22217883Developing a comprehensive approach to facility maintenance is not always an easy task to accomplish. While there are many best practices for creating a facility maintenance program, the path to finding and implementing a plan that meets the specific needs of your facility can be challenging. With efficiency as a common end goal, facilities are searching for ways to optimize opportunities without increasing costs. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you develop a maintenance plan that fits your facility.

Dos:

  • Expect to Inspect. There is always room for improvement. Pay attention to the areas in which your facility maintenance program could become better. By determining what changes need to be made, you could increase efficiency and reduce expenses.
  • Calculate Costs. Assess the specific needs in your facility and develop a plan to convert to more innovative, cost effective solutions. When evaluating your current expenses and researching other options, you’ll feel more empowered to make a decision in your maintenance program and potentially get more bang for your buck.
  • Outline Opportunities. Building an effective facility maintenance program requires weighing the pros and cons. Presenting various options and showcasing the advantages of a proposed program will help you establish a customized plan for your facility.

Don’ts

  • Rely on the Bare Minimum. You shouldn’t have to settle when it comes to the cleanliness of your facility. While your current maintenance program may be sufficient, there is always an opportunity to enhance it. When you analyze your program, you may discover new ways to achieve a higher level of clean.
  • Guesstimate. There’s no need to play the guessing game with your facility maintenance program. Many modern tools are available to you for free online to assist you in planning and executing the very best solution strategies.
  • Short-Change on Change. Every facility is unique and requires solutions customized to their specific needs. While modeling your maintenance plan off of another facility’s may be easy and effective, make sure you take the time to evaluate what’s best for your facility. Building an exclusive plan may present you with various new opportunities.

For more solutions or guidance on creating a facility maintenance program, visit betco.com to learn about our innovative resources and training sessions.

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Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist at Betco.

If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com

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‘Tis the Flu Season!

Washing HandsThe last thing anyone wants during the holiday season is the flu. During the hustle and bustle this time of year, it’s important to practice effective hand hygiene and protect your health so you can feel your best while shopping, traveling and celebrating. So how can you focus on spreading holiday cheer and not germs this flu season? Try some of these tips so you can stay merry and healthy.

Get the rest you need. Lack of sleep can affect your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. After long days of running errands, traveling or attending a holiday party, be sure to give your body the rest it needs.

Sanitize your hands and your surroundings. While the spirit of the season may be all around us, so are numerous types of bacteria. Seats on a plane or bus, your desk at work and shopping carts are common places for you to pick-up unwanted germs. Hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 20%, so protect yourself by washing your hands and sanitizing your surroundings before touching them.

If you’re not feeling well, stay in. You don’t feel like yourself when you’re sick. While it can be hard to miss out on some holiday fun, it’s important to put your health first. Let people know you won’t be able to attend a gathering if you’re feeling under the weather. They’ll understand and appreciate your mindfulness to allow them to spread cheer, not your germs.

If you are sick, don’t prepare food. Bacteria is not a favorable secret ingredient. It’s important to prevent cross-contamination since 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. Be courteous of others and don’t contaminate your famous holiday dish with your illness.

Stay hydrated. Water helps your body transport nutrients to keep you energized and healthy. Nourish your body by following the 8×8 rule; drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Take in holiday joy, not germs. Those cookies in the break room and bowl of roasted peanuts at the holiday party are tempting to pick up and eat, but sharing is not always caring when it comes to festive treats. Use the proper utensils when adding food to your plate and steer clear of food that has been touched by other people. Your appetite and your health will be satisfied.

HunterGilesRGB
Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist at Betco.

If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

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Critical Germ Touchpoints in Education Facilities

When it comes to effective cleaning in school facilities, what most people think about first is the restrooms. In fact, studies have found that parents, when visiting a college or university their son or daughter is considering, invariably visit the restrooms to examine their cleanliness. The reasoning is: clean restrooms mean a well-run school; poorly maintained restrooms, can mean something far different.

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Foam Soaps Save Water

Do Foam Soaps Save Water?

It often comes as a surprise to building owners that the typical restroom faucet can use as much as 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If used ten times in an hour, that’s 25 gallons of water going down the drain. Over the course of an eight hour day, water consumption can top 200+ gallons per faucet. There are very effective aerators available along with other water-reducing systems that work to reduce consumption, however, the amount of water used for hundreds of hand washings in a typical facility every day can be excessive.

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Why Wash Your Hands with Dirty Soap?

Keep in mind…

Millions of people during their daily routines use refillable (bulk) soap dispensers to wash their hands, so think about this … every time someone washes their hands with soap from a refillable dispenser, are they putting their health at risk?

Why wash your hands with dirty soap?

Studies have shown that bacteria levels found in bulk soap dispensers were in concentrations levels higher than what industry standards deem as “safe”:

Causes are:

  • Inadequate cleaning – Germs grow inside the dispenser because they do not get properly cleaned or sanitized every time they are refilled
  • Airborne and environmental contaminants can land in the open container
  • Opening dispensers to refill soap in unsanitary reservoir, such as a restroom, where fecal bacteria is exposed
  • Cleaning personnel not properly dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment, such as gloves), have cleaned toilets, and then moved on to refill the dispensers
  • “Topping off” or improper refilling – new soap is tainted when coming in contact with contaminated soap
  • Diluted hand soap – companies try to save money and dilute down concentrated soap formulas

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), recommends the storing of products as follows:

  • Liquid products should be stored in closed containers and dispensed from either disposable containers, or containers that are washed and dried thoroughly before refilling
  • Soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser because this practice of “topping off” might lead to bacterial contamination of soap and negate the beneficial effect of hand cleaning and disinfection

Hand hygiene is the single MOST IMPORTANT way to reduce the transmission of germs from person to person that can cause infections.

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Krysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

Have any questions? Contact us at welisten@betco.com.

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Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert.

Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert, Stay Safe! Wash Your Hands!

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) suggests samples taken from current reported flu cases shows the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for this season’s flu strain circulating the US.

The US health agency issued an advisory to doctors noting these samples showed that just under half of these samples were a good match for the influenza A (H3N2) component contained in flu shots for the 2014-2015 season, suggests the virus has drifted.  According to the CDC, the flu season has been low but increasing with the Influenza A (H3N2) being the predominant strain with cases detected all over the US. Continue reading

dry hands

Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season

With winter right around the corner, Betco®, a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning, disinfecting, floor care, and skin care products, reminds those in the professional cleaning and building management industries that now is the time to start thinking about hand care.

“The dry, cold weather can really damage the skin on your hands,” says Lindsay Tippin, Betco marketing coordinator. “It’s important to start moisturizing before this happens to prevent discomfort that can take weeks to heal.” Tippin also notes that dry chapped hands can evolve into hand dermatitis, a disease that can be very serious, even result in a visit to the emergency room if the condition worsens. Continue reading

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Cold and Flu Season 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year 164 million school days are lost due to illness. (Source: CDC 2014)

Resources and Facts on Cold and Flu Season:

What are the differences between cold symptoms and flu symptoms?

Cold and flu symptoms can overlap each other. If you’re trying to determine if  you have a cold or flu, see the following:

What are the symptoms of a cold?

Cold symptoms can last from 2 days to 2 weeks, most people recover in 1 week to 10 days. Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2 to 3 days after infection and include:

  • Sore throat
  • Mucus build up in your nose
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Swelling of your sinuses
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
 What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu comes on suddenly, though people can host the flu virus for 1-4 days before symptoms begin to emerge. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills*
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What resources can be used to track cold and flu season?

You can track the flu virus on the website for The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC collects, compiles and analyses information on influenza activity year round in the United States and produces a weekly report from October through mid-May.

You can track the influenza virus and the current flu season by clicking here.

Peak Season for Cold and Flu Activity:

Flu timing is unpredictable and varies from season to season. Flu activity begins as early as October and continues through late May.  Flu activity peaks in the United States in January or February.

The 2014-2015 influenza vaccine is made to protect against the following three viruses:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011;
  • a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

How Should You Wash Your Hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

Check out the CDC website for the following links:

How to Wash Your Hands

When to Use Hand Sanitizer

Focus on cleaning key touchpoints in your schools and stay a step ahead of the k-12 clean standard with Betco’s CleanDegrees Program.

Betco CleanDegrees Education Program helps K-12 facilities understand and incorporate the “Science Behind Cleanand identify the key “touch points” within their facilities, while staying compliant with the newly established K-12 Clean Standard.

Schools that adopt the cleaning and education program will achieve a reduction in germs and bacteria on key touch point areas such as desktops, water fountains, lockers and restroom sinks by utilizing Betco’s ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) meter system, reducing absenteeism and ensuring a clean and healthy environment for students and faculty.

 Link for the K-12 Clean Standard:

Link for the Betco Clean Degrees Program:

 

Krysten Comperchio_jpg

Krysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

Don’t Get Stuck in a Pickle

SpreadingFlu_m_0102So, you’re in a pickle. Imagine you are going into the biggest job interview of your career, and you notice the interviewer seems to be under the weather during a record breaking flu season. Do you shake his hand? Or do you politely decline? Declining a handshake in any situation has the potential to be offensive. These are just one of the many situations you might run into during the flu season. To avoid an awkward encounter AND the flu, here are a few tips you can follow to keep the flu away!

1.) Stay home- If you are under the weather, and you have the opportunity to stay home to get well, that is your best option; however, we know that being sick isn’t always the ideal situation.

2.) Keep hand sanitizer on hand- Hand sanitizer, alcohol based, or non-alcohol based is a great way to clean your hands after you have been in a crowd or any place in public. It is smart to use hand sanitizer after touching anything that might be harboring the flu virus or dangerous germs. (i.e. someone that is ill and still contagious, door knobs, railings, public telephones, etc.)

3.) Wash your hands thoroughly -Take extra care in washing your hands. We recommend using hot or cold water, a strong antibacterial soap, and scrubbing for good 20 seconds in-between fingers, around your wrists and under your nails. Also, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before eating. Regular hand washing can drastically decrease your chances of picking up and transferring dangerous germs and bacteria.

Stay tuned for Part Two: “Don’t be THAT Person”. A blog that will give you great insight on how to reduce your chances of transferring your sickness to someone else when YOU are the one sick.

LesLeeLesLee Winfield is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, LesLee enjoys running, movies, and spending time with her family. Click here to contact LesLee directly.

Germs, Germs, Everywhere!

Get this…the average student gets between 6 to 10 colds per year. The fact is colds and flu cause more doctor visits and missed school days than any other illness. So how can parents and school administration work together to prevent thcold and flu in school blogis?

Here are 5 ways to achieve this:

1.) Get Immunized – Prevention is the best medicine. Keep up to date on scheduled immunizations for school-aged children. Remember, vaccines only work against specific types of influenza virus for which it was designed for. There is no universal vaccine that will protect you against common cold viruses.

2.) WASH YOUR HANDS! One of the most common ways of catching a cold or flu is not washing your hands often enough or well enough at school. Studies have shown middle and high school students about half washed their hands after using the bathroom and only 33% of girls and 8% of boys used soap!

3.) Provide Hand Sanitizer – When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. To make it effective, you should rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands and fingers until dry which is about 30 seconds. Note: Children under the age of six should not use without supervision.

4.) Proper Germ Etiquette – Cover coughs and sneezes to prevent spreading germs if you think you may have the cold or flu. Sneeze into a tissue and discard then continue to wash your hands!

5.) Beware of Germ Spots (Touch points) – Studies have shown that bacteria levels are 80% higher on drinking fountains and locker doors than on a toilet seat. Likely because toilet seats get cleaned regularly.

“Stopping germs where they breed is the best preventative action.”

Here is a great resource on how to survive cold and flu season!
http://www.today.com/health/how-survive-cold-flu-season-2D12015077

Krysten Comperchio_jpgKrysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

Part 2 – Flu Prevention in the Workplace and video

fluAround the workplace you hear the coughing and sneezing throughout the office and a box of tissues and sanitizer bottles placed near computer keyboards. Keep in mind, that cold and flu season runs from November through April and spreads readily when people are indoors from person to person and surface to surface within the workplace.

According to the CDC, people are most contagious during the first 2-3 days of contracting a cold, and almost immediately up to 5 days after being infected with the flu.

Here are a few suggestions to prevent the spread of cold and flu virus’s at work: We also encourage you to watch our video below!

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with hand soap several times throughout the day and sanitize with with an alcohol based hand sanitizer, especially following contact with potentially contaminated surfaces
  • Handshakes of others
  • Door handles, ((including microwave coffee pots and refrigerators)
  • Copy machine buttons, keyboards, phones
  • Desks, countertops, food prep areas
  • Shared books or other office materials
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or the flu
  • Sneeze and cough into a tissue, throw it away and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your sleeve rather than your hands.

Cleaning and sanitizing surfaces with BetONE™ Disinfectant wipes offers one step cleaning and disinfecting while killing pathogens, virus’s and bacteria within ONE minute!

Krysten Comperchio_jpgKrysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

Part One – Cold and Flu Season

How to Avoid Getting a Cold
Chances are at some point in your life, you have come down with the common cold and flu. There currently is no known cure for the cold; however, researchers have learned plenty about how cold viruses spread. Respiratory droplets such as coughing and sneezing, are the easiest ways to pass along your cold.

Rhinoviruses and H1N1 can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces, handshakes, and other personal contact. These surfaces are known as touch points. If you get cold viruses on your fingers, you might touch your nose or eyes without even knowing it; the two key entry points for a living virus. From there, cold viruses quickly reach nasal passages, where they take a life of their own and begin multiplying at a rapid rate.

Be Careful What You Touch!
Rhinoviruses and H1N1 can survive on doorknobs, table tops, shopping cart handles and other surfaces for more than 24 hours. Avoid these pesky germs by using an alcohol foaming hand sanitizer. Clario® Alcohol Foaming Hand Sanitizer and Clario® Alcohol Gel Sanitizer come in convenient package sizes for use in commercial environments or smaller sample sizes for easy access when on the go!

The key in preventing the flu, is to wash your hands frequently! Washing your hancold and fluds can be one of the easiest ways to prevent germs, but the question is, are you doing it properly?

How to properly wash your hands:

• Rub your hands together with soap and warm water
• Scrub the fronts and backs and in between your fingers for at least 20 seconds
• Rinse your hands with clean water and dry them with a paper towel. Do not use your clothing to dry your hands, you will be amazed at the number of people who do!
• Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is a great back-up plan if soap and water available

*FUN FACT: Did you know that paper towels are a sanitary means for drying your hands and that an electric air dryer actually just spreads more germs! See how the H1N1 virus is impacting an area around you here!

Stay tuned for Part Two to come on Cold and Flu Prevention!
Krysten Comperchio_jpgKrysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

FDA Creates Media Frenzy!

FDAMainstream media has highlighted the FDA’s newly proposed amendment regarding the safety and effectiveness of consumer topical antiseptics found in antibacterial hand soaps and body washes.

The proposed  Amendment?

  • Includes Over the Counter (OTC) Consumer Antiseptics/Antimicrobial Drug products and all active ingredients (including Triclosan)  for use with water
  • Excludes products alcohol-based instant hand sanitizers
  • Excludes antiseptic products used by medical professionals

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Washing Hands

Get the Facts on Hand Hygiene

Did You Know …

  • We have between 2 and 10 million bacteria between our fingertips and elbows (not all bad!)
  • Damp hands spread 1,000 times more germs than dry hands
  • The number of germs on your fingertips double after you use the rest room
  • Germs can stay alive on hands for up to three hours
  • Millions of germs hide under watches, rings and bracelets

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Driving Hand Hygiene Compliance in Healthcare Facilities

Did you know …

Hand hygiene plays a major role in preventing the transmission of infectious disease in healthcare Hand Sanitizers facilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.7 million HAI’s (Healthcare Associated Infections) are acquired during an average 3 day stay at a healthcare facility each year in the United States. In a healthcare setting, contaminated environmental surfaces i.e., “Touch Points” such as door handles, bed rails, chair arms and restroom faucets are targets for retaining drug-resistant bacteria. With compliance among healthcare workers below 40%, enforcing proper hand hygiene is the key in preventing the spread of infection.

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A Checklist for Implementing Effective Hand Hygiene Protocols in Long Term Care Facilities

Did You Know …

  • The cost of treating infections in Long Term Care facilities is an average of $1,100 to treat each resident or patient
  • Infection treatment costs total more than $1.4 billion in the US each year
  • Facilities risk losing their Medicaid and Medicare status as participating providers if they have uncorrected deficiencies – Hygiene and infection control-related violations are the most common

Hand Care Clean - Hand Hygiene Protocols      Hand Care Safety - Hand Hygiene Protocols      Hand Sanitizer - Hand Hygiene Protocols

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