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Healthcare Bag Technique

Prevent Cross-Contamination, Protect Patients, and Demonstrate Compliance

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As a trusted source for high-quality, unique healthcare bags, Hopkins Medical Products recognizes the importance of promoting proper Healthcare Bag Technique.

A healthcare bag – also referred to as a nurse bag, medical bag, public health bag, or visiting bag – is a home healthcare essential. Its omnipresence in patient care demands consistent efforts to prevent cross-contamination, protect patients and their loved ones, and remain fully compliant.


  • Prevent contamination of the healthcare bag.
  • Protect patients, family members, and healthcare workers from the spread of infection.
  • Demonstrate compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, accreditation standards, infection control principles, and standard precautions.

Bag Technique Procedure

  1. Select a healthcare bag that has at least three separate compartments, at least one of which should be lockable to secure patient records.
  2. Designate two “clean” compartments, one for clean disposables and the other for patient records.
  3. Pack the bag with necessary supplies before leaving for visits. Pack hand washing supplies near the top or in a side pocket where they are easily accessible.
  4. Store the healthcare bag in a clean storage container or other separate compartment in your car.
  5. Do not take the healthcare bag into infested homes or homes of patients with antibiotic resistant infections such as MRSA or VRE.
  6. In the home, identify a clean and safe area for the healthcare bag. Never set the healthcare bag on the floor. Always choose a place to set the bag that gives you enough work space, is close to the patient, has a source of water, and is away from children and pets.
  7. Plan where you will discard disposable items and sharps ahead of time.
  8. Spread an impervious barrier on the surface before setting the bag down.
  9. Remove hand washing supplies first. Wash and dry hands thoroughly, following proper hand washing technique.
  10. Remove any items needed for patient care, including any necessary personal protective equipment.
  11. Close the bag before performing patient care.
  12. Wash your hands again if you need to re-enter the bag for additional supplies during patient care.
  13. Only dispose of sharps in an approved sharps disposal container. The sharps container must be kept in a separate “dirty” compartment or a designated sharps container pouch. Never put used sharps directly in the bag.
  14. Discard disposables in a sealed trash bag or biohazard bag. Follow local and state regulations for infectious waste disposal.
  15. Bag soiled reusable items that cannot be cleaned in the patient’s home and transport them according to agency policy. Do not put these soiled items back into the healthcare bag.
  16. Wash your hands, then repack and close the healthcare bag.
  17. Clean and disinfect the healthcare bag weekly by hand washing in mild soap and warm water and air drying. Then spray both inside and outside with SaniZide Plus, and air dry again.

Essential Supplies Checklist

Medium Alcohol Prep Pads* Powder-Free Latex Gloves (non-sterile)*
Adhesive Tape Remover Pads Disposable Water Repellent Bag Barriers*
or Reusable Antimicrobial Bag Barrier
3/4” x 3” Adhesive Bandages* Personal Protection Kit*
E-Z Lubricating Jelly*
Hopkins Reusable Pen Light with Pupil Guide*
C-Fold Paper Towels* 1 Qt Sharps Container
Dual Head Economy Stethoscope* Hopkins Latex Free Nylon Sphyg*
Hopkins Flex Temp Thermometer* Red Biohazard Bags*
SaniZide Pro 1
or CaviWipes Disinfectant Wipes Flat Pack*
Premium Spill Kit Polybag*

*These items and many others come in our Clinician Starter Kit with the Hopkins® Original Home Health Bag!

Compliments of Hopkins Medical Products. This document is not intended to supersede established agency healthcare bag techniques. (Prepared by Beacon Health, Hopkins Medical Products Article #8324 ©1998-2016.)

More Ways to Protect and Prevent Cross-Contamination

You never can take too many precautions when it comes to safeguarding yourself, your colleagues, and visitors.

Once you have mastered the basic principles of our recommended Healthcare Bag Technique, we encourage you to explore more opportunities to limit cross-contamination and remain compliant with ever-evolving regulations, privacy laws, and standards.

Antimicrobial Protection in the Bag

Hopkins Medical Products revolutionized the healthcare and medical bag industry in 2018 by launching the first-ever antimicrobial home healthcare bag line.

By incorporating Microban, which helps prevent organisms from growing and colonizing on materials, we added an extra layer of protection to the Hopkins bags used and loved by healthcare professionals around the world.

To browse our full antimicrobial bag selection, Click here to browse our complete selection.

Another major consideration as you work toward a more complete healthcare supply approach is ensuring patient privacy. Our HIPAA-compliant patient privacy solutions give nurses and other healthcare professionals additional peace of mind when it comes to protecting PHI. Shop our extensive selection of records bags, combination locks, privacy screens, and confidentiality labels to be sure your patients’ sensitive information remains in the right hands.

Convenient Kits for Your Everyday Healthcare Needs

In addition to the Clinician Starter Kit, which contains all essential supplies to align with our suggested Healthcare Bag Technique, we offer several other starter kits assembled for specific professions and duties. Click here to see our full selection, designed for home health aides, physical therapists, RNs, and other important healthcare roles.