Firstly, Infection Prevention & Control Program is a plan of action designed to identify infections that occur in patients & employees that have the potential for disease transmission, identify opportunities for reduction of Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI) & integrate evidence based research & guidelines into standard practice.
Hand Hygiene plays an integral part in Infection Control Program.
We all know that cleaning our hands helps keep threatening germs away, but unclean hands continue to contribute to infections while patients receive care in healthcare settings. On any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection. Many germs that cause these infections are spread from patient to patient on the hands of healthcare providers.
Studies show that, on average, healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the times they should. CDC recommends that healthcare providers clean their hands before and after touching every patient. When these hand hygiene recommendations are not followed, both providers and patients are at risk for serious infections.
As a patient, here is what you should know about hand hygiene:
- Remember, your hands spread germs!!
Everybody should clean their hands at these important times:
- Before touching doorknobs
- Before touching eyes, nose, or mouth
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching bed rails, bedside tables, remote controls, or the phone
- Before and after changing bandages
- Before eating (use Hand Wash and Water)
- After using restroom (use Hand Wash and Water)
- Ask Questions!
You might feel hesitant or might be confused about how to start the conversation, but its okay to speak up for clean hands! Patients and visitors play an important role in preventing the spread of germs that cause serious infections. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers also need to clean their hands frequently to keep you safe.
Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to the people around you. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not cleaning your hands properly.
The five important things you might not know about washing your hands and why it matters:
- Hand Wash & Hand Rub (Sterelium):Washing your hands with Hand Wash removes germs much more effectively than using water alone. The compounds, called surfactants, in Hand Wash help remove soil and microbes from your skin.
- It takes longer than you might think:The optimal length of time to wash your hands depends on many factors, including the type and amount of soil on your hands. Evidence suggests that washing your hands for about 15–30 seconds removes more germs than washing for shorter periods. CDC recommends washing your hands for about 20 seconds, or the time it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice from beginning to end.
- It’s all about technique:Make sure to clean the spots on your hands that people miss most frequently. Pay particular attention to the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails. Lathering and scrubbing your hands creates friction, which helps to remove dirt, grease, and germs from your skin.
- Don’t forget to dry:Germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands, so you should dry your hands after washing. Studies suggest that using a clean towel or letting your hands air dry are the best methods to get your hands dry.
- Hand sanitizer is an option: If you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands with Hand Wash and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Make sure you use enough to cover all surfaces of your hands. Do not rinse or wipe off the hand sanitizer before it is dry.
Note: Hand sanitizer may not kill all germs, especially if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy, so it is important to wash hands with Hand Wash and water as soon as possible after using hand sanitizer.
Why it Matters??
Remember, clean hands save lives. Diarrheal diseases and pneumonia are the top two killers of young children around the world, killing 1.8 million children under the age of five every year. Among young children, hand washing with Hand Wash prevents 1 out of every 3 diarrheal illnesses and 1 out of 5 respiratory infections like pneumonia worldwide.
The Guide to Implementation is a manual to be used to facilitate local implementation and evaluation of a strategy to improve hand hygiene and thus reduce HCAI (Healthcare Associated Infections) at individual health-care facilities; assists health-care facilities in preparing a comprehensive action plan to improve hand hygiene irrespective of their starting point; supports the components of the WHO multi-modal hand hygiene improvement strategy, as presented in the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care.
There are three types of Hand Hygiene: HAND-WASH, HAND-RUB & HAND-SCRUB & Five Moments for Hand Hygiene.
While the standards and opportunities for hand hygiene remain the same in healthcare, the availability of more efficient product and technologies have made it an easier task for staff to comply with.
Proper hand hygiene and sustained compliance is a necessary thing when working in healthcare to ensure the health and safety of the staff and patients. It is well known that hand hygiene makes an enormous impact on patient safety and the performance of the hospital, so making sure that staffs are aware of and able to follow, the 5-Moments is the first step in finding success with overcoming poor hand hygiene practices.
No one has time to be sick. Luckily, proper hand hygiene combined with surface disinfecting and cleaning can help you stay healthy.
Stay Tuned for other Infection Prevention & Control Program.
Nayesha Healthcare specializes in developing & implementing infection prevention & control programs along with streamlining the hospital organization & develops QUALITY HEALTHCARE FOR ALL!!
Hand Hygiene is for everyone…everywhere. SAVE LIVES.CLEAN YOUR HANDS!!
Nayesha Healthcare: “Aligning Quality to Healthcare”