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Hospitals and healthcare facilities have been hit hard by COVID-19, in more ways than one.

While many hospitals have cared for COVID patients, staff have been infected and many clinics have become testing sites, all healthcare facilities have suffered from patients’ perceptions and fear, and how they readjust to deal with that in the future.

Upon visiting a hospital as a patient or visitor, your temperature is checked, you are asked a number of questions, are provided with a fresh disposable mask to wear and a sticker to identify what day you’ve been checked in. As a patient, you may also have been required to have a COVID test days before arriving.

Of course, these requirements are justified. This virus can spread so quickly and easily and there are a large number of vulnerable people in hospitals. But how does a healthcare facility ensure that patients and visitors feel safe beyond their arrival?

If you visit a public washroom in a hospital, does a jet air dryer give you the same hygiene confidence as paper towel? Over 40 percent say no.

Research found some 43 percent of people actually felt unsafe entering a public washroom with air dryers¹ and it’s not an unreasonable fear. Jet air dryers can spread ten times more germs² and drying your hands with a jet air dryer produces more airborne droplets³. In a hospital or healthcare facility, this is an unnecessary risk.

The simple action of wiping washed hands on a paper towel to dry them actually aids the removal of micro-organisms and ensures germs are then thrown away. Up to 72 percent of people surveyed said they wished more facilities offered paper towels instead of air-dryers and 36 percent have an increased preference for paper towels since COVID-19¹. Tork Professional Hygiene have a large range of paper towels and dispensers to suit different washroom sizes and traffic.

How else can healthcare providers allay fears?

They can start by ensuring soap, towel and toilet paper is always available in washrooms; that cleaners are more visible doing their jobs; and that simple hand hygiene guidance is available and is easy to follow.

Hand Sanitiser needs to be placed in convenient locations throughout the facility and healthcare staff should always use it in front of patients and visitors. Seeing is believing and knowing your doctor or nurse has sanitised feels much safer than assuming it.

To move forward beyond COVID, we need to be able to return to our healthcare system with confidence. Too many people have put off procedures and treatments and are hesitant to return. As the number one professional hygiene brand in the world, Tork is well-placed to provide expert advice and guidance on the right hygiene solutions for your healthcare facility.

1 Survey conducted by United Minds in cooperation with CINT in April 2020
2 Best et al, J Hosp Infection, 2014
3 Margas E. et al, J Applied Microbiol, 2013