Infection Control

Hand Hygiene

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. 

 

Important Links:

CDC Hand Hygiene Resource Page

CDC Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health Care Setting

UTMC Hand Hygiene Policy

 

 

Content source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.

Last Updated: 6/26/15