Kate & Whitney- Policy Paper (Final Draft)

Background

Antibiotic resistance has been in the forefront of medical discussions today. Over the years, scientists have done many extensive experiments to try to combat the profound amount of bacterial resistance that the world is now experiencing. Many bacteria have become resistant because of the misuse of antibiotic drugs. Though antibiotics play a vital role in combating bacterial infections, many scientists and doctors agree that the most effective method of infection control is hand washing (2). Ignaz Semmelweis was the first to realize the importance of hand washing in preventing the spread of illnesses (5). He introduced an obligatory hand washing policy for doctors and medical students working with cadavers and pregnant women (5). Since the time of Semmelweis, many doctors and scientists have agreed on the importance of hand washing. The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) also agreed that hand washing is the most essential hygiene measure in preventing the spread of infectious diseases (2). Many hand washing protocols call for the use of antibacterial soap, hot water, and friction of the hands for a minimum of thirty seconds.

In today’s busy world, it is often difficult for one to be able to stop and wash their hands when necessary. Hands should be washed before eating, before preparing food, and after using the toilet or changing diapers (4). This is where the convenience of alcohol-based hand sanitizers comes into play. When hands are not obviously contaminated, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended for use by the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization (3). There are seven benefits to the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. They are: “(i) faster microbial kill, (ii) a greater reduction in microbial load, (iii) a broader spectrum of microbicidal activity, (iv) relative ease of use and time savings, (v) better skin tolerance in spite of frequent use, (vi) convenience and freedom from dependence on sinks and running water, and (vii) water conservation” (3). In an experiment done by the School of Nursing and Division of Infectious Disease at The Johns Hopkins University, they found that an alcohol-based hand sanitizer was the most effective in killing bacteria present on the hands (1).

Policy

As the Presidents of Morningside College, we propose a policy that would install hand sanitizing stations in multiple areas around the campus. This would help to prevent the spread of illness among the students. Listed here are the protocols for this policy.
1) The sanitizer used will contain a minimum of sixty percent alcohol. In a study done at The Johns Hopkins University, these were proven to be the most effective (1).

2) Hand sanitizers will be located throughout the campus. They will be placed by all drinking fountains. In the Olsen Student Center, there will be one located outside the cafeteria doors and inside the cafeteria by the tray return. There will also be stations by the soda fountain in Bucks and outside of the student health office. In the Allee gymnasium, hand sanitizing stations will be located at the inside entrances into the gym. In the library, stations will be located by the Spoonholder counter and the stairs. This is a total of approximately fifty-five hand sanitizing stations.

3) The cost of this implementing this policy will be approximately $2, 150.00. This includes the cost of the wall mounting stations and fillers for each station. Each wall mounting station will cost approximately five dollars. The fillers for each station will be roughly seventeen dollars. Each filling package contains 1000 milliliter of hand sanitizing gel.

4) The cost of this policy will be paid for by the college itself. There is a $200,000 annual budget for maintenance and custodial services that it will be covered under.

5) We estimate that we will need to refill each station every two weeks on average, depending on the location. The maintenance staff will be responsible for maintaining the full stations.

6) Informative signs will be placed around campus providing information about the importance of hand washing. This is to encourage the students to use the hand sanitizing stations.

Conclusion

By implementing this policy, we hope to decrease the spread of microbial illnesses throughout the campus. On a greater scale, this will help to reduce bacterial resistance by preventing the overuse of antibiotics. We believe this policy will be the most cost effective way to decrease the spread of illness. By using the hand sanitizing stations, the cost of extra plumbing and other hand washing items will be eliminated. Also, this is a more convenient and environmentally friendly way to stop the spread of disease. In all, we hope to prevent student illnesses and bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

References

1) Larson, E.L. "Efficacy of Alcohol-Based Hand Rinses under Frequent-Use Conditions." Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 30.4 (1986): 542-44.

2) Meadows, E., & Le Saux, N. "A systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Rinse-free Hand Sanitizers for Prevention of Illness-related Absenteeism in Elementary School Children." BMC Pubic Health 4 (50). 1 Nov. 2004. Web. 20 Sept. 2009. <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=534108&tool=
pmcentrez>.

3) Macinga, D. R., & et al. "Improved Inactivation of Nonenveloped Enteric Viruses and Their Surrogates by a Novel Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer." Applied Environmental Microbiology 74 (16): 5047–5052. 27 June 2008. Web. 20 Sept. 2009. <http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=
2519287&tool=pmcentrez>.

4) Nicolle, L. "Hygiene: What and why?" Canadian Medical Association Journal 176 (6). 13 Mar. 2007. Web. 20 Sept. 2009.<http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.
fcgi?artid=1808522&toolpmcentrez>.

5) Best, M. "Ignaz Semmelweis and the Birth of Infection Control." Quality Safety Health Care (2004): 233-34. Print.

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