In the United States, patients in hospitals get an estimated 722,000 infections every year. This is about 1 infection for every 25 patients. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections in a hospital setting.
Healthcare providers should practice hand hygiene at specific points in time to disrupt the transmission of microorganisms including: before patient contact; after contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces (even if gloves are worn); after any patient contact; before invasive procedures; before applying gloves; and after removing gloves (wearing gloves is not enough to prevent the transmission of pathogens in healthcare settings).
Patients and their visitors can also play a key role in helping to prevent infections by practicing hand hygiene and reminding their healthcare providers to perform hand hygiene.
Content source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.