National center for infection control professionals, healthcare experts, manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and consumers focused on best practices in hand hygiene and hand sanitizer products

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hand Hygiene and The Bottom Line Impact to Budgets

For those that are focusing on how to manage their budgets in this time of unprecedented economic constraints, here's a simple economic and financial fact:

Proactive, and responsible hand hygiene protocols, whether within schools, healthcare venues, and/or the workplace can save tens of thousands of dollars in the course of re-evaluating budgets and spending.

How? Its real simple; it all comes down to the cost of absenteeism.

Consider what it costs when an employee is out sick for the day. A lost sale, a delayed shipment, a delay in processing an order or a receivable, a delay in training a customer service representative, a class that has to be rescheduled. When there is a one-day or an extended absence due to common illness, i.e. a bug, the flu, a cold, a stomach virus, you not only lose productivity, but temporary workers need to be brought when there is an extended absence of a full-time worker.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that many low-level illnesses can be easily avoided by steps as simple as washing hands frequently--and especially after coming into contact with any 'foreign object'--keyboards, door handles, desktops, shaking hands with someone, etc etc. A message that any healthcare professional will acknowledge. And its a message that hand sanitizer makers have promoted--"when washing with soap and water isn't convenient....."

Here's the rub-not all hand sanitizer products make sense. Alcohol-based gel products kill germs on contact-and they also kill the protective skin cells that shield against germs, bacteria and viruses. From a cost-efficiency standpoint, alcohol-based hand sanitizer formulas burn through your budget as quickly as the flames that result when you put a match to the alcohol in that bottle of gel on your desk.

On the other hand, alcohol-free, foaming applications require less "per shot" application, they provide extended persistency (meaning they continue to protect against germs long after applied), and, unlike alcohol gels--which introduce added cost when considering the damage they inflict on floors, walls,etc. NON-ALCOHOL, rinse free foaming hand sanitizers provide 2x-3x greater cost efficiency..End users consume less than half as much product over the course of a month or a year when compared to historical usage of alcohol-based gels. There are several alcohol-free, foam format brands--however they do range in price--and some manufacturers have made the mistake of pricing their product at a level that mitigates cost efficiences..Products such as Soapopular, Hy5, some HandClens products are priced comparable to alcohol-based products--which means these brands deliver the cost savings that consumers and institutional users can benefit from--and save upwards of 50% on their annual hand sanitizer purchases.

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