Home Health Articles and Information


Apr 20, 2020 7:58:35 AM / by Kristi Bajer, BSN, RN, COS-C

COVID-19 Infection Control and Clean Bag Technique

Home health clinicians know infection control is always important. But with COVID-19 in our communities, infection control is more crucial than ever. 

Making sure clinicians are using proper bag technique while caring for their patient's has never been more important. As a reminder, we are sending out the standard "bag technique" steps for your staff to review below.

However, if your HHA is caring for a patient with a known or suspected case of COVID-19 or any other infectious disease, skip the bag and use the following precautions:

Provide equipment to the patient for their exclusive use, or,

1. Take in only what is needed for the patient encounter

2. Place equipment and supplies in a double disposable bag

3. Leave the outer disposable bag in the patient area

4. Carry the equipment out after being cleaned in the inner disposable bag



Clean 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. Plastic tote in trunk
  5. Do not take the healthcare bag into infested homes or homes of patients with antibiotic resistant infections such as MRSA or VRE. Known or suspected COVID-19
  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 bio-hazard 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 a germicidal solution, and air dry again.




Tags: Home Health, COVID-19

Kristi Bajer, BSN, RN, COS-C

Written by Kristi Bajer, BSN, RN, COS-C

Kristi Bajer BSN, RN, COS-C, brings over 10 years of real world experience as a clinician, director, and administrator in home health. She is a firm believer in diagnosis driven evidence-based care in home health. Currently, she assists agencies with external chart audits and Medicare appeals, as well as providing training and coaching on OperaCare implementation and building QAPI programs using data to drive success and protect agencies from government audits.