For Infection Prevention, Try Duct Tape

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , June 27, 2011

The Red Box can be used for about 30% of patient encounters when interaction between the patient and caregiver is simple and quick and does not require close proximity.

So far, the trick has proved a savings of 2,700 hours of personnel time and $110,000 a year in avoided purchase of gowns and gloves, Franck said.  And that has proved true for each of the two years since the Red Box project began in January, 2009.  That the savings was that significant, she said, was "surprising to many of us."

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About 67% of the healthcare workers said the duct tape strategy lessened barriers, and 79.2% said it saved time in not having to don and remove personal protective equipment.  The red tape also sent an important visual cue to remind healthcare workers that they were entering an isolation room, which is usually only indicated by a sign outside the patient's door.


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