Less Irritating Formulas, Better Product Dispensers Desired for Skin Preps, Survey Says

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In a survey about the use of antiseptic hand cleansers and pre-operative preps in a healthcare setting, infection preventionists indicated that products in this category should be less irritating to hands and that improved product dispensers were desired.  

The survey was conducted in person by BioScience Laboratories, Inc. in the exhibit hall at the annual meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) held in July in New Orleans. Ninety-three individuals completed the survey, and 75 percent of them designated infection prevention and control as their primary role within their healthcare institution.

The survey respondents answered four questions about antiseptic hand cleanser products and one question about pre-op prep products. The compiled responses indicated the preference of foam over other product forms for a hand cleanser and the desire for in-person training from the manufacturer. The most commonly suggested product improvements for hand cleansers were a less irritating product and improved product dispenser that didnt leak, clog, or dispense too much product. Effective, affordable, and non-irritating to the eyes and skin were ranked as the most effective pre-operative prep product attributes.

Survey respondent demographics:

- Infection prevention/control professional -- 75 percent

- LPN or RN -- 12 percent

- Microbiologist -- 3 percent

- Nurse practitioner -- 2 percent

- Other -- 9 percent

Other demographic information was not gathered from the survey participants.  

Survey results are as follows:

Availability of Antiseptic Hand Cleansers

- They are readily available -- no additional installation locations are needed. 77 percent

- They could be more available -- 22 percent

-- There are not enough available -- 1 percent

-- They are grossly unavailable  -- 0 percent  

 Preferred Form of Antiseptic Hand Cleanser

- Foam -- 60 percent

- Gel -- 30 percent

- Liquid -- 8 percent

- Other -- 2 percent  

 Most Effective Forms of Manufacturer Training

- In-person training -- 43 percent

- Diagrams and posters -- 35 percent

- Video -- 12 percent

- Written instructions -- 11 percent

- Other -- 1 percent    

Top Changes and/or Improvements to Current Antiseptic Hand Cleanser Product

1. Less irritating to skin/better dispenser (tied for first place)

2. Switch from manual to automated dispenser

3. More Pleasant Odor

4. Better availability  

Most Important Product Attributes For a Pre-op Prep

- Effective -- 35 percent

- Affordable -- 29 percent

- Non-irritating to the eyes and skin -- 25 percent

- Tint -- 7 percent

- Fragrance -- 3 percent

- Duration of kill/exposure time -- 1 percent    

About the survey: The survey was designed by the BioScience Laboratories, Inc. sales and marketing staff, and questions were developed based on industry issues discussed at similar industry conferences. Survey participants received $2 to complete the hard copy survey in ink. The identity of survey participants was not collected.

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