What is it?
Bag technique is a method used by home health therapists and nurses to help prevent/reduce the spread of pathogen infection from home to home (and from home to therapist/therapist to home).
Every so often, a home health agency may be required to send a Medicare or Medicaid surveyor on a ride-along with a therapist to ensure that proper bag techniques are being utilized.
6 Steps For Proper Bag Technique
Bag placement - use an elevated surface, place your bag on a barrier (waterproof and disposable) such as a Chux or a sm garbage bag.
Wash and dry hands thoroughly - do so before reaching into your ‘clean bag’.
Clean Items Clean - All clean items should be kept in a clean item bag (pulse ox, theraband, BP cuff, goni, or any other equip). Remove from medical bag and keep items on clean barrier.
Zip up medical bag - perform tx.
Disinfect - all items in direct contact with patient with a disinfectant. Allow to dry. Cleaned items go back into ‘clean bag’, Items unable to be cleaned (towel or Chux) get placed in a ‘dirty bag’ and should be disposed of post tx or cleaned at end of day. Keep dirty items in separate compartment of medical bag.
Wash and dry hands thoroughly - Store your medical bag on a dry clean barrier in your vehicle.
Following these 6 steps should allow you to best protect yourself, your patients and your license as a home health therapist. Technique specific recommendations vary from agency to agency, but the general protocol remain the same. If you have any questions, please reach out to the agency you are staffing for to get clarification on their required bag technique.
Caleb E. Johnson, OTR