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.
According to the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF), two of the leading patient safety challenges facing hospitals today go hand-in-hand with the Joint Commission’s newest requirements in improving hand hygiene – creating a culture of safety and reducing healthcare associated infections.
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.