HYGIENE CONFIDENCE Only 28% of people are confident with levels of cleanliness and hygiene in hospital and healthcare locations, a survey has found.

Harris Interactive, on behalf of Kimberly-Clark Professional, conducted a survey to determine how COVID-19 has affected perceptions of cleanliness and hygiene in the healthcare sector. The results found that only 28% of respondents are confident with levels of cleanliness and hygiene in hospital and healthcare locations, and only 68% feel safe visiting a healthcare location now.

Olena Neznal, Vice President of Kimberly-Clark Professional EMEA, said: “Early experiences aſter the first lockdown did not meet expectations, and more needs to be done.

“The latest surge in cases has put the healthcare sector under pressure yet again to balance the responsibilities of keeping everyone safe, whilst continuing to deliver essential care.”

The survey also found that 80% of consumers are now more aware of hygiene practices when outside the home.

“The healthcare sector needs to win and maintain the confidence of its employees, as well as patients and long-stay residents and their families. From this research, it is clear that hygiene is now, and will remain, top of the agenda,” added Olena.

According to the research, across all hospital and healthcare locations, waiting rooms and washrooms are the top two areas for urgent hygiene improvement. Three-quarters of those surveyed (75%) think waiting rooms are the most important area to improve hygiene levels, while 67% think public washrooms also need improvement. 70% of respondents wanted to see more sanitisers, while 59% want to see employees actively cleaning, with cleaning and disinfecting procedures clearly communicated.

Looking at senior care homes, or long-term care facilities, 86% of respondents perceive visiting as high to moderate risk. In care homes, 77% showed concern about toilets, while 61% considered hygiene levels in washrooms as the most important aspect.

360˚ Hygiene & Protection programme

Kimberly-Clark Professional has introduced the 360˚ Hygiene & Protection programme to help the healthcare sector deliver the highest possible levels of hygiene and restore confidence.

Hygiene is obviously already top of the agenda in a clinical healthcare environment. However, the new data shows that additional focus must be given to public areas such as foyers, washrooms and waiting rooms to ensure hygiene provisions and surface wiping protocols are not only effective in these high-traffic areas but are also reassuring.

Kimberly-Clark Professional offers specific healthcare facility support through considering need areas, and tools to assess

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your facility and identify germ hotspots. Hotspots are High Frequency Touch Points – objects such as door handles, sink fixtures, liſt buttons, chair arms, and stair rails that are touched by many throughout the day and need frequent cleaning and disinfection to help break the chain in germ transmission.

The next step is implementing cleaning and disinfecting protocols and introducing the correct hand hygiene and surface wiping solutions. Finally, Kimberly-Clark Professional promotes hygienic workplace practices by providing communication tools to help create awareness, which is a vital and important part of making people feel safe.

Kimberly-Clark Professional offers a free, no obligation Virtual Hygiene Walk – bookable through the microsite– to review a facility and provide expert guidance on cleaning and hygiene protocols, recommending the right product solutions to tackle key hygiene hotspots. The company has also produced an in-depth guide for the healthcare industry show the most appropriate products and solutions.

New research shows low confidence in the levels of cleanliness and hygiene in healthcare due to pandemic.

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