Did you know…
- 220,000 incidents of Health Care Acquired Infections (HAI’s) result in 8,000 deaths per year?
- 1 in 9 patients admitted to a hospital or healthcare facility develop an HAI?
- HAI’s are the 4th highest cause of death (behind Cancer, Heart Disease and Stroke)?
- Organisms can live up to 60 minutes on your hands – increases are on the rise of new drug-resistant organisms?
- If Hand Hygiene improves by 20% in healthcare facilities, then HAI’s will decrease by 40%?
- In a healthcare facility, using the 5 Moments of Hand Hygiene (as suggested by the WHO – World Health Organization) CAN break infection transmission among patients and healthcare personnel?
Hand hygiene is everyone’s responsibility from health care providers, to patients, and personnel. It is recognized by infection prevention and control experts as the single most important factor to decrease the spread of Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI’s) and improving compliance within healthcare facilities. The 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene are simplified as follows…
1. Before Patient Contact:
WHEN? Clean your hands before approach and touching a patient. Examples: Shaking hands, helping a patient move around, clinical examination
2. Before An Aseptic Task:
WHEN? Clean your hands immediately before any aseptic task. Examples: Oral/dental care, secretion aspiration, wound dressing, catheter insertion, preparation of food, medications.
3. After Bodily Fluid Exposure Risk:
WHEN? Clean your hands immediately after an exposure risk to body fluids (and after glove removal). Examples: Oral/dental care, secretion aspiration, drawing and manipulating blood, cleaning up urine, feces, handling waste.
4. After Patient Contact:
WHEN? Clean your hands after you touch a patient and their immediate surroundings, and when exiting a room, even if the patient has not been touched. Examples: shaking hands, helping a patient move around, clinical examination.
5. After Contact with Patient Surroundings:
WHEN? Clean your hands after touching any object or furniture in the patient’s immediate surroundings, and when exiting a room, even if the patient has not been touched. Examples: Changing bed linen, perfusion speed adjustments.
When hands are visibly soiled with organic material, or if healthcare personnel have been in contact with patients with C. Difficile, Norovirus, Staff, or CRE, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend washing hands with soap and water. When hands are not visibly soiled, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers as the primary method of hand hygiene are recommended because of its efficacy against numerous pathogens, and its acceptability of use by healthcare personnel.
Remember…“Every patient crossing paths with healthcare personnel should be touched only by clean hands”. Despite today’s sophisticated healthcare and the science behind that care, the simplest intervention of hand hygiene is a key factor in reducing the spread of HAI’s (Healthcare Acquired Infections) in healthcare facilities.
Krysten Comperchio is the Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at the Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys running, cycling and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.