Hand washing! For at least 40 seconds…the most effective way to reducing infections.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), In the United States, patients in the healthcare setting get nearly 2 million infections each year. That’s about one infection for every 20 patients! Infections that patients get in the hospital can be life-threatening and hard to treat. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections. Based on the CDC guidelines, providers should practice hand hygiene at key points in time to disrupt the transmission of microorganisms to patients:
- Before patient contact
- After contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces (even if gloves are worn)
- Before invasive procedures
- After removing gloves (wearing gloves is not enough to prevent the transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings).
This is why we have instituted these guidelines in my practice. See the following handout on handwashing – note the time – at least 40-60 seconds.
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