The Importance of Hand Hygiene

Posted on May 5th, 2018

It’s easy to transfer germs, especially in a healthcare setting where there are multiple patients who are sick. Handwashing has been a form of personal hygiene for centuries. And though handwashing with soap and water was something practiced among doctors and medical students, in the mid 1800s, scientists still found that hospital-born diseases were transmitted by Healthcare Workers themselves. Handwashing was not enough for them to prevent the spread of infection outside the hospital. At that time, scientists recommended to scrub hands in an antiseptic solution. Healthcare workers started doing so, though they were not required by law, and infection rates started to decrease. Fast forward to the 1980s, the first National Hand Hygiene guidelines were published. Even more recently, alcohol-based hand washing has finally established as the standard care for hand hygiene.

It seems like a simple concept for most people to remember to wash their hands throughout the day. However, healthcare workers sometimes have to wash their hands 100 times a day. It takes dedication, mindfulness, and time. And it’s efficiency has been proven as Hand Hygiene has been linked to a reduction in Healthcare-associated infections!

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