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Healthcare Bag Technique

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  • 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

Alcohol Prep Pads*Gloves (non-sterile)*
Adhesive Remover Pads*Disposable Bag Barrier* or Antimicrobial Reusable
Adhesive Bandages*Liquid Hand Soap*
Non-Sterile 4x4 GauzeWaterless Hand Cleaner*
1” Paper Tape*Paper Towels*
Antiseptic Towelettes*Sharps Container
BP Unit*Stethoscope*
Biohazard Disposal Bags*Thermometer*
Hard Surface Disinfectant*Sterile Water-Soluble Lubricant*
Spill Cleanup Kit*CPR Barrier Shield*
Penlight*Personal Protection Kit*

*These items and many others come in our 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.)

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