Award-winning Interactive Training for Health CareBy ISSA Today Staff | February 4, 2022 << Back to Articles
In the global world of health care, clean hands and surfaces are of the utmost importance. They help save lives. That is the reason Tork, an Essity brand, researched and developed two new interactive tools that focus on the crucial hygiene demands of health care facilities.
In November, at ISSA Show North America 2021 in Las Vegas, Tork Interactive Clean Hospital Training and Tork Clean Hands Training were named the Innovation of the Year.
These two free virtual trainings from Tork, the global leader in workplace hygiene, help address two essential requirements of health care environments—clean surfaces and clean hands.These innovative trainings will aid in the prevention of infection, leading to improved patient outcomes.
What exactly does this innovation consist of, and who is the company behind it?
Who is Tork?
Tork is the professional hygiene brand from Essity, a leading global hygiene and health company. For more than 50 years, Tork has been the market shaper and innovator in the professional hygiene field across the globe.
Tork introduced the first coreless centerfeed dispenser in 1968. Over the years, Tork products have continued to meet end-user expectations and improve business performance through sustainable hygiene management. This means fully integrating products and services into end users’ regular processes and procedures to achieve the hygiene standards appropriate for the given environment, or a person within that environment, sustainably.
Now Tork is at the forefront of digitalizing the cleaning industry to help end users stay ahead of challenges and improve efficiency. With Tork Vision Cleaning, a facility management software that leverages real-time data, Tork brings end users the expertise, knowledge, and tools needed to improve business efficiency, workflows, staff well-being, and guest experience—all while supporting sustainability efforts.
Rachel Olsavicky, the regional marketing manager of Commercial and Public Interest for Tork, claims, “Through expertise in hygiene, functional design, and sustainability, Tork has become a market leader in professional hygiene.”
Interactive training for health care
Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are a significant threat to patient safety worldwide, and 5-10% of all hospitals are affected, with 80,000 deaths per year in the United States alone.
As the global leader in hygiene, Tork understands continuous education is a critical success factor for improving hygiene practices. But traditional forms of hand hygiene and surface cleaning training are often uninspiring, time-consuming, and taken with low frequency.
To meet this need, Tork has developed two free interactive training tools addressing the critical hygiene needs of infection control, health care, and environmental services (EVS) professionals. Tork Clean Hands Training and Tork Interactive Clean Hospital Training were created alongside leading behavioral scientists and experts to boost hand hygiene and cleaning protocol compliance.
Research suggests that virtual reality (VR) is tangible, inspiring, and can improve learning outcomes. Tork Clean Hands Training brings hand hygiene compliance to life through a cutting-edge VR experience with gamification. The training is also available on desktop, inviting users into a digital world where they interact and train on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Five Moments for Hand Hygiene in a realistic, fun, and safe environment.
Tork Interactive Clean Hospital Training is a desktop tool designed to make the training process for EVS professionals engaging and efficient. It is based on the Association for the Health Care Environment’s (AHE) Practice Guidance for Health Care Environmental Cleaning, helping ensure that cleaning staff fulfill tasks to industry standards.
The importance of bringing together experts from different fields to cater to all perspectives cannot be overlooked. Addressing a variety of viewpoints is the only way to ensure accessibility and pertinence to health care needs.
Together with behavioral scientists, university hospitals, and world-leading hand hygiene experts, Tork trainings stem from an evidence-based collaboration process. Although lengthy, this approach turns theory into practice through virtual experience in real-world safe care environment scenarios.
The next challenge was to ensure the trainings were accessible, since many training resources are not. The Clean Hands Training is available across multiple platforms and languages. To make the training even more widely available, Tork released a desktop version in May 2021, timed against WHO’s World Hand Hygiene Day. Similarly, Tork Interactive Clean Hospital Training is available in more than 25 languages, globally catering to EVS professionals.
A welcome innovation
“We are extremely pleased with how the market has embraced these innovations,” says Olsavicky. ISSA has recognized the importance of this solution by awarding Tork Interactive Clean Hospital Training and Tork Clean Hands Training the highly prestigious Innovation of the Year at ISSA Show North America 2021.
But that’s not all. The Tork Clean Hands Training won the Visitor’s Choice Award at Interclean Amsterdam Online 2020. Academics have also taken an interest in the training, including it in a peer-reviewed journal. It is entitled eHealth for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections: a scoping review by Journal of Hospital Infection.
EVS professionals play an essential role in helping hospitals and health care facilities maintain the highest hygiene standards. Ensuring widespread adoption of these trainings among this group is of the utmost importance. Tork is proud to report its Interactive Clean Hospital Training has seen 1,215 unique users since its release in 2021. Meanwhile, the Tork Clean Hands Training has been downloaded over 10,000 times with 3,179 users since October 2019.
Olsavicky continues, “We continue to innovate and improve based on feedback from these trainings and initiatives surrounding them. The next step for the Clean Hands Training will be to increase accessibility. Tork has plans to adapt the app to be used directly on mobile devices without the need for a VR kit. It will remain free of charge to lower the barrier of usage in every health care unit possible, worldwide.”
The influence of ISSA
ISSA’s knowledge-sharing of industry best practices, new innovations, and thought leadership makes Tork proud to be a long-standing member, claims Olsavicky. “This year’s trade show brought together leading industry experts through in-person and virtual means. For those who attended, being able to network in person again was invaluable. As a digital sponsor for the ISSA Show, we were able to reach those who could not physically attend through the webinar series and online show pages. The team at Tork is also looking at new ways of partnering through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council™ (GBAC), another arm of ISSA.”
Essity, the maker of the Tork brand, has also been highly involved with ISSA, engaging with the ISSA Hygieia Network, a signature ISSA Charity program.
“We were pleased to see Essity’s global marketing director Charishma Kothari honored with the ISSA Hygieia Network Rising Star of the Year Award for her impressive career trajectory and achievements within the cleaning industry,” says Olsavicky.
In addition, Matthew Urmanski, vice president of sales and marketing at Essity, serves as manufacturing director on the ISSA Board.
Never has there been a stronger need for more hygienic health care facilities. According to Essity’s Essentials Initiative Survey 2020-2021 Results, more than seven out of 10 people say they will have higher expectations on the hygiene standards of hospitals after COVID-19. As hygienic environments support HAI reduction and contribute to better patient outcomes, tools like these have never been more critical.
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