May 7, 2012
Today is STOP! Clean Your Hands Day. This national event coincides with a global initiative of the World Health Organization, “Save Lives: Clean Your Hands.”
Organisms such as bacteria and viruses are commonly transmitted on our hands. Hand hygiene is the primary measure for enhancing patient safety by reducing healthcare associated infection(HAIs) and the spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria.
Improved adherence to hand hygiene has been shown to reduce transmission of antimicrobial resistant organisms, and reduce overall infection rates. Health care associated infections (HAIs) can have a devastating impact on our patients and on the entire health care system. Hospital infections kill between 8,000 and 12,000 people every year in Canada, largely spread by hand contact. It is estimated that at least 30% of infections in the health care system can be prevented.
The solution is simple – proper hand hygiene. Using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub at the four moments of patient care remains one of the best ways to combat HAIs. Hand hygiene behavior is the responsibility of every individual and the organization as a whole and cannot be the sole responsibility of infection prevention and control teams.
Hand hygiene is also important for patients, family and visitors. Please clean your hands:
- When coming into the hospital
- Before entering a patient room
- When leaving a patient room
- When you leave the hospital
100% hand hygiene can be achieved when we all work together.