For anyone who works in the healthcare industry, you know that cleanliness is next to, well… healthiness. By making paper products readily available to both patients, physicians and staff, it can help keep them well and reduce or eliminate disease-spreading germs.
Paper placement consideration is especially important in non-acute healthcare facilities for promoting a hygienic environment. Non-acute health providers span a broad range of types and services. Most non-acute centers are focused on long-term out-patient care and include dialysis centers, senior care, home health, imaging, rehab clinics and much more.
We’ve put together some best practices that can help you determine the types of paper products needed, as well as where to put them to make them easily accessible.
Best Practice #1: Know Your Area
Most non-acute care facilities share similar spaces that serve similar purposes. It’s important to understand what these spaces are and how they’re utilized, in order to meet the hygienic needs of anyone who works or is treated there. In nearly every non-acute facility, you can expect to find exam rooms, public restrooms (these can vary in size, number of stalls, etc.), medical staff areas (nursing stations, reception and registration, staff lounges), and laboratory facilities. Understanding the function of each of these spaces will help you determine how best to address sanitary concerns.
Best Practice #2: Hands-Free is the Way to Be
Whether it’s in an exam room or a restroom, automated paper towel dispensers are far and away the most hygienic route to go for hand drying. Touch transfers germs and bacteria, so any opportunity to limit or eliminate touching of dispensers will lower your odds for cross-contamination. Take the germ-fighting up another notch with hands-free soap dispensers as well, and you’re on your way to a healthier, happier workplace.
Best Practice #3: Consider Quality and Quantity
You want to make sure the paper products you’re using are strong enough (in the case of paper towels) and also gentle enough (in regard to facial tissue) to do their job without discouraging patients and employees from using them.
And while quality is often the most important factor in considering which products to use, in this case, quantity means just as much. In a non-acute setting, it’s important to ensure you have each exam room covered, as well as all high-traffic areas. Plan on having a paper dispenser in each exam room.Tissues are also handy, especially when you have a steady stream of sick or sniffly patients. Make sure to account for the season (flu and allergy months may mean heavier use) and be sure to regularly check cabinets for refill needs.
For restrooms, side-by-side toilet paper dispensers help reduce product replacement intervals (great for your staff!) and lessen run-out situations (good for your patients!). While you don’t need paper towel dispensers for every sink, the higher the ratio, the more likely they are to be used, and to stay stocked.
Best Practice #4: Consider Foot Traffic
Most non-acute facilities see patients and staff coming and going various times throughout the day. Additionally, patients may also be treated in several spaces, including exam rooms, treatment rooms, and imaging chambers. Know exactly which spaces are utilized the most, and ensure there are adequate cleansing/sanitizing stations at each. In addition to paper products, it also helps to have hand sanitizer dispensers, wipes and cleansing cloths in staff areas such as reception desk, nurses’ stations, and staff lounges.
Keep these paper product best practices in mind to keep your non-acute facility as clean and hygienic as possible. For additional healthcare resources related to paper products, visit our supplier Georgia-Pacific Professional’s website. At HP Products, we can help you find the right paper products and quantities for your non-acute facility. Contact us today with any questions.