Hand hygiene entails the action of cleaning hands, and it is one of the easiest and effective methods of preventing the spread of microorganisms across the health care setting. There are two ways that healthcare providers can use in cleaning hands that are by using alcohol hand swabs or by use of soap and running water. Effective hand washing is an important practice for the health care providers as it has a significant impact in reducing the spread of hospital-acquired infections (Allegranzi & Pittet, 2009).
It is important to note that hand hygiene enhances patients safety and care and should involve everyone in the healthcare setting including the patients. The most common way of transferring health care-associated infections is by use of hands by the health care providers. Health care personnel move from one patient to another and from room to room providing the necessary care to the patients. The movement provides many opportunities for organism’s transmission resulting to infections that become resistant to antimicrobials (Bolon, 2011).
According to Helms, Dorval, Laurent, & Winter, (2010) practicing effective hand hygiene has been regarded as one of the most important element of infection control in the health care setting. However, few healthcare providers practice appropriate hand hygiene practice this accounting to an increased rate of health care-associated infections increasing the healthcare burden. Several studies have demonstrated hand hygiene as an effective way of eradicating resistant microbes such as methicillin-resistant S. aureus as well as other microorganisms that lead to infections (Tschudin-Sutter, Pargger, & Widmer, 2010). Thus, it is important to monitor the hand hygiene practices of the health care providers in an effort of reducing the cases of the healthcare associated infections.
Allegranzi, B., & Pittet, D. (2009). Role of hand hygiene in healthcare-associated infection prevention. Journal of Hospital Infection.
Bolon, M. (2011). Hand Hygiene. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. doi:10.1016/j.idc.2010.11.001
Helms, B., Dorval, S., Laurent, P. S., & Winter, M. (2010). Improving hand hygiene compliance: A multidisciplinary approach. American Journal of Infection Control.
Tschudin-Sutter, S., Pargger, H., & Widmer, A. F. (2010). Hand hygiene in the intensive care unit. Critical Care Medicine, 38, S299–S305. doi:10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181e6a23f