The cost of hand hygiene products should not be the primary factor influencing product selection; however, it of note that the routine use of an alcohol-based handrub is more cost effective than the use of an antimicrobial soap and water.20 When making purchasing decisions consider the general reliability of the dispenser system; the functional reliability to deliver an appropriate volume of the product; and, for alcohol-based formulations, confirm that the container is flame-resistant.
When selecting a plain soap, an antimicrobial soap, or an alcohol-based hand rub solicit information from manufacturers regarding any known interactions between the hand hygiene products, skin care products, and the type of gloves used in the healthcare setting; and the risk of product contamination. Hand-care products should be stored in disposable/reusable closed containers. Never “top off” partially empty soap dispensers as it can lead to bacterial contamination of the content.
HCP should be provided with hand hygiene products of proven efficacy that have low irritability potential and with compatible hand lotions to minimize the occurrence of irritant contact dermatitis. To maximize acceptance of hand hygiene products solicit input from HCP regarding fragrance (smell), consistency (“feel”), skin tolerance, and colour. Formulations with strong fragrances may be poorly tolerated by HCP and patients with respiratory allergies.