This is the Way We Wash Our Hands

There are a host of songs we use to encourage young children to wash their hands. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just launched a new campaign to take that a step further by encouraging healthcare providers to keep their hands clean. It’s called Clean Hands Count.

According to a story on CBS News, “61% of health workers do not clean their hands at the right moment.” CBS Radio put together a short story on the importance of hand washing in health care. You can listen to it by clicking here or on the image below.

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You may not have known that yesterday was World Hand Hygiene Day.  The CDC is hoping to generate attention around this campaign to address myths and misperceptions about hand hygiene, and empower patients to play a role in their care by asking or reminding healthcare providers to clean their hands. The following list is from the CDC website:

  • Healthcare providers might need to clean their hands as many as 100 times per 12-hour shift, depending on the number of patients and intensity of care.
  • Everyone should know the truth about hand hygiene and alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills most of the bad germs that make you sick and is the preferred way to clean your hands in healthcare settings.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer does not kill C. difficile, a common healthcare-associated infection that causes severe diarrhea. Patients with C. difficile should wash their hands with soap and water and make sure their healthcare providers always wear gloves when caring for them.
    • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is more effective and less drying than using soap and water, and does not create antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
  • Hand hygiene should be a topic of conversation between healthcare providers and patients. Healthcare providers can explain how and why they clean their hands before, after, and sometimes during patient care, and let patients know it’s ok to ask about hand hygiene.
  • Patients and their visitors can protect themselves by cleaning their own hands often.

WHO and the CDC are hoping this new campaign will help keep patients and healthcare workers safer. What do you think? Generating conversations around new ideas designed to improve health is another step toward our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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