22.10.2019

Good hand hygiene prevents infections

Good hand hygiene is an easy way to avoid various infectious diseases. Careful washing is not always enough. Kiilto has years of experience in developing hygiene solutions for demanding healthcare purposes.

Unwashed hands always carry bacteria, from where they spread to surfaces and from there to other people’s hands. Handshakes are not the only way to spread disease between people. 

“Hand hygiene is the starting point for healthcare and a key factor in the fight against infections. The use of disinfectant hand rubs speeds up work and is more effective than handwashing. In healthcare, hand rubs are used when there is no dirt on the hands to be removed by washing”, explains Päivi Godden, who is business development manager responsible for healthcare and professional personal hygiene at Kiilto.

The Kiilto Erisan product range has many hand hygiene products that have been developed for professional use. Good hand hygiene also includes caring for the skin.

According to Godden, Erisan products have been a part of hospital hygiene since the 1980s.

“There used to be a separate Erisan hospital hygiene department”. 

Different strokes for different folks

There are country-specific differences and preferences in using hand hygiene products between the Nordic countries. Kiilto’s subsidiaries in Sweden, Norway and Denmark each have their own traditional brands.

Whereas Erisan Pro is the cornerstone of hand hygiene in Finnish healthcare, Sweden has sworn by Dax ever since 1970. The most popular product in the field in Denmark is Plum, and in Norway, Antibac and its predecessors have been the leading names since the 1920s.

“In the Nordic countries, we need more caring products than in countries with a more humid climate. There are also slight country-specific differences in legislation regarding the use of different ingredients. And personal preferences also vary”, Godden notes.

For example, there are differences between denatured hand rubs. In Finland, isopropanol is hardly used at all, as in the other Nordic countries. It has a more pronounced scent, which Finns are not accustomed to. Here, milder-scented, ethanol-based products are preferred. Godden points out that all of these products are equally effective, regardless of differences in their manufacturing methods.

Keeping up with the market

Kiilto and its Nordic subsidiaries are constantly working to promote hand hygiene in healthcare.

According to marketing manager Helle Bilsted of Plum, the company regularly participates in industry and target group events and is also involved in training and seminars. 

Ann Mari Østtorp of Antibac highlights the fact that the company considers it important to participate in developments in the field in order to ensure that its range of products are also familiar to the next generation of professionals. 

And according to Annika Nilsson, who is marketing manager of KiiltoClean’s Swedish unit, the company’s key account manager also visits hospitals regularly to talk about hand hygiene.

In the Nordic companies, the main topics in the sector at the moment are the correct use of hand rubs and how hand hygiene could still be improved in hospitals and in interactions between people. The World Health Organization is undertaking a five-point hand hygiene programme, called My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene, which has a strong presence in hospitals.

“Nowadays there is a lot of talk about multi-resistant bacteria, but hand hygiene is important in the fight against common diseases, such as noroviruses”, Godden points out.