Each year on May 5, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Hand Hygiene Day, aiming to maintain global promotion, visibility and sustainability of hand hygiene in healthcare.
In 2021, WHO asks healthcare providers and staff to achieve hand hygiene at the point of care.
Hand Hygiene in Healthcare
“Cleaning your hands is one of the most simple and effective ways to prevent the spread of germs, helping to keep our patients and ourselves safe,” says Crouse Infection Control Practitioner Sara McNeil, RN.
“Perform hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer covering all surfaces of your hands,” she advises.
In order for hand hygiene to be effective and prevent the spread of germs, five specific moments when proper hand hygiene should be performed are identified as being:
Now, more than ever, proper hand hygiene is essential, as the practice prevents up to 50% of avoidable infections acquired during healthcare delivery.
“Infection prevention takes the whole team. Infection control thanks all care providers for all they do,” McNeil says.
Proper hand hygiene can also prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, affecting both patients and care teams.
Hand Hygiene in Everyday Life
Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.
The Centers for Disease, Prevention and Control (CDC) recommend following these five steps every time:
Read more about hand hygiene at
Crouse News is reported by members of our Communications Team.
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