Topics: infection control, hand hygiene compliance, healthcare transformation, hand washing, Antibiotic resistance, Superbugs, tips for improving hand hygiene, Actionable Patient Safety Solutions, Patient Safety Movement, E. Coli
It’s been proven time and time again – hand hygiene compliance plays a critical role in reducing HAIs. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees, that when healthcare professionals actively engage in infection prevention measures, including effective hand hygiene protocols, it’s possible to reduce the rates of certain HAIs by more than 70 percent.
When treating sick patients, you wear a gown, gloves and a mask. You follow the World Health Organization’s My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene and you’re careful to sanitize after touching common “high touch” spots such as elevator buttons, railings and door handles. You’ll even handwash if you think you hear someone coughing nearby. But all those precautions are doing a number on your hands.
There are many different germs that threaten the health and well-being of adults and children inside and outside of the healthcare setting. Germs spread in many way ways from person to person, and from objects to people. A systematic approach to infection prevention and control where both patients and health care providers work together plays a vital role in protecting everyone who utilizes the health care system, in all its many forms.
Over the years, various studies have sought to determine the bacterial contamination of hospital objects frequently touched by patients, visitors and healthcare workers, as well as the potential for cross contamination from these “high-touch” surfaces.
The world would like to think that hospital staff never contracts an illness, and rather than spreading germs, display wellness 24/7. However, that is simply “snot” the case. Healthcare professionals get seasonal cold and flu viruses just like everyone else. The difference is, healthcare professionals come into contact with and care for critically ill patients on a daily basis – some of which contracting a simple cold or flu could mean death – proving even further that the health of hospital workers is crucial to ensuring the health and wellness of patients.
Imagine this scenario: Your patient, in for a routine procedure, dies 10 days post-op because of a mistake you made. That mistake? You didn’t follow hand hygiene protocol and touched the patient after closing the privacy curtain without first washing your hands. This resulted in the transmission of the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA.
This is an unfortunate reality for an estimated 200,000 patients every year in Canada; 8,000 of which die as a result of their infections. The numbers are even higher in the U.S. with an estimated 687,000 hospital-associated infections (HAIs) and 72,000 deaths per year.
As we approach the one year anniversary of the Joint Commission’s decision to place an increased focus on hand hygiene behavior among healthcare staff, what have you done to better prepare your facility for its next audit?
Another year is quickly coming to an end and we would like to to thank all our subscribers and occasional readers by sharing with you our most popular articles on hand hygiene and infection prevention from 2018. We will be taking a break over the holidays and returning in the new year!
In case you missed them here are the Top 5 articles from the DebMed Blog in 2018 ...
You may have heard of Clostridium difficile, but do you really know what it is? You know it’s bad, you know it’s prevalent in healthcare settings, but do you know what causes it, how it’s spread or what you can do to keep your facility and its occupants safe? You should.
In honor of Clostridium difficile Awareness Month, we’re breaking down this common healthcare-associated infection (HAI) to educate those in the healthcare sector and beyond.
The DebMed blog is the go-to source for hand hygiene and infection prevention related discussions occurring in the healthcare industry. Join the conversation! All readers are invited to comment, share stories and information, and post articles of interest.