In the United States, hospital patients get an estimated 722,000 infections each year. That’s about 1 infection for every 25 patients. Infections that patients get in the hospital can be life-threatening and hard to treat. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections.
Healthcare providers should practice hand hygiene at key points in time to disrupt the transmission of microorganisms to patients including: before patient contact; after contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces (even if gloves are worn); before invasive procedures; and after removing gloves (wearing gloves is not enough to prevent the transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings).
Patients and their loved ones can play a role in helping to prevent infections by practicing hand hygiene themselves as well as asking or reminding their healthcare providers to perform hand hygiene.
Clean hands are the single most important factor in preventing the spread of dangerous germs and antibiotic resistance in health care settings.
Basic Handwashing Steps
Hands should be washed with antimicrobial soap and water when the hands are visibly dirty or contaminated with proteinaceous material.
Hands should be washed at the beginning and end of the work day, before and after using gloves, before eating, smoking or handling medications, after using the toilet, after wiping the nose or touching the face, and after touching contaminated surfaces. Remember, positive patient outcomes are in your hands.
Science Behind the Recommendations
To learn more visit: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing