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Expert guidance on hand hygiene in healthcare settings
Date:7/16/2014

CHICAGO (July 16, 2014) Expert guidance released today offers updated evidence reviews and recommendations for hand hygiene in healthcare facilities. The guidance is featured in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology and emphasizes best practices for implementing and optimizing hand hygiene programs to prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The guidance is part of the Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals: 2014 Updates produced in a collaborative effort led by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Hospital Association, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and The Joint Commission.

"For more than 150 years, we have known the link between hand hygiene improvement and reducing HAIs," said Janet Haas, PhD, RN, CIC, co-lead author of the guidelines with Katherine Ellingson, PhD. "Yet adherence to recommended practices remains low. While there can be barriers to optimal hand hygiene in healthcare settings, poor hand hygiene undermines care and threatens patient safety."

With varied practices and some mixed messaging surrounding hand hygiene in healthcare settings, the guidelines aim to clarify best practices for hand hygiene and update recommendations, including the following:

  • Improve Accessibility and Acceptability of Products: Soap and alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) should be convenient for routine hand hygiene in all patient care areas. Consult staff about tolerability of products on hands.
  • Stress Hand Hygiene at Critical Moments: Healthcare personnel should clean hands with ABHR or soap and water:
  • Before direct patient contact;
  • Before preparing or handling medication in anticipation of patient care;
  • Before moving from a contaminated body site to a clean body site on the same patient;
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Contact: Tamara Moore
tmoore@gymr.com
202-745-5114
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Source:Eurekalert

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