Every year, the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsors World Hand Hygiene Day on May 5 to remind us of the importance of cleaning our hands not just today but every day of the year. The WHO aims to catalyze the discussion on the importance of hand hygiene in healthcare and its overall improvement worldwide by bringing people together.
The theme for this year’s hand hygiene day is, “Fight Antibiotic Resistance; It’s in Your Hands.” At the very core of infection prevention is effective hand hygiene. It is the easiest and most affordable way that we can fight antibiotic resistance from the origin; we can break the chain of infection with clean hands, thus reducing the need for the use of antibiotics.
Specifically this year, the WHO wants us to focus on:
Cleaning hands at the right times – Following the WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene (and similarly CDC guidelines for hand hygiene), paying attention to the moments with the highest risk for contact transmission.
Engaging hospital chief executives and managers to support hand hygiene initiatives and infection prevention and control programs – HAIs do not just affect patients and front-line healthcare workers – they make an impact financially on hospital systems as a whole. Upper-level management is responsible for implementing and maintaining programs that improve patient safety and also reduce costs.
Supporting Infection Prevention leaders to lead the charge for hand hygiene by setting and meeting standards and goals for infection prevention and control – Having a hand hygiene champion in the organization is crucial to motivate and create a lasting behavior change.
Encouraging policymakers to show national support for infection prevention and hand hygiene and acknowledge its role in antibiotic resistance – Groups like Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) advocate for the best interests of patients and healthcare workers, focusing on crucial topics like antibiotic resistance.
DebMed is proud to support the World Health Organization’s (WHO) "SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands" campaign day and to provide hand hygiene performance improvement educational tools and resources to support hand hygiene awareness.