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Hand Hygiene Day: The Key to Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Is in Your Hands

MAY 05, 2017 | KRISTI ROSA
So, what are the central moments when healthcare workers should remember to clean their hands? If taking the “My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene approach,” healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene:

 
In honor of World Hand Hygiene Day, the CDC is also promoting a campaign called “Clean Hands Count,” which, according to their website, aims to:
  • Improve healthcare provider adherence to CDC hand hygiene recommendations
  • Address the myths and misperceptions about hand hygiene
  • Empower patients to play a role in their care by asking or reminding healthcare providers to clean their hands
Hand hygiene is one of the more critical practices where patients are starting to become more active. For example, one form of engagement could be to monitor hand hygiene practices among healthcare workers in the facilities where they are receiving care.

In fact, at the SHEA Spring 2017 Conference, Heather Schact Reisinger, PhD, MAA, medical anthropologist, associate director for Research and Core Investigation for the Center for Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Evaluation (CADRE) at the US Department of Veteran Affairs, discussed the importance of patient engagement in HAI prevention programs.

“As far as effectiveness, engaged patients report higher quality and fewer errors, have reduced healthcare utilization and costs, and have a positive impact on health outcomes, [such as] increased medication adherence, reduced rates of hospital admissions and reduced lengths of stay, [and] increased preventative care,” she said.

Practicing hand hygiene frequently and correctly is a simple yet effective way to make a difference in infection prevention and transmission. After all, like WHO says, “Clean hands make the health system a safer place to receive care.”
 
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