In the last five years, the best practices in hand hygiene has proved to be a reliable mean of reducing unnecessary infection in modern dynamic society. Global healthcare professionals have ranked hand hygiene as one of the basic initiative that has significantly improved health condition in the world. Evaluation of various hand washing practices have affirmed that these strategies are effective in reducing the spread of infectious diseases by lowering microorganisms load (Jefferson, Foxlee, & Del Mar, 2007). Hands contact is a common vehicle through which transmission of microorganisms happens from patient to resident, form resident to the client and from the healthcare professional to client. Recent studies assert that healthcare associated infection is a common state of the affair in both developed and developing countries. Over 1.4 million people suffers from infections that result from poor hand hygiene every year. It is also estimated that most infections that result from poor hand hygiene are common in the modern healthcare systems. A study by Allison, Aiello, Elaine, and Stuart (2007) introduces a new perspectives to the concept of soaps used in hand wash by noting that the use of ineffective soaps enhance resistances thus aggregating the condition. The disturbing side effects of poor hand hygiene on society’s health affirms the significance of understanding and adopting practical best practices in hand hygiene.
It is the responsibility of all players in the society to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to improve hand hygiene in the society. Hand hygiene is the most effective and reliable means of controlling and preventing the spread of healthcare associated infections. Hand hygiene includes elimination and killing of transient microorganisms from the hand in order to maintain good skin integrity. Healthcare experts relate hand hygiene with safety procedures that target reducing the transmission of microorganisms from one party to another through hand contact to improve the community’s health condition. This is in respect to studies that affirm that human being carries various forms of microorganisms on their skin and hands that are dangerous to their health (Jefferson, Foxlee, & Del Mar, 2007). Microorganisms that are carried on individuals’ hands have been directly responsible for the increased disease infections in modern social settings. In this context, the best practice in the modern society emphasizes the need promoting a communal effort in informing the community on the importance of cleaning hands on regular basis.
The introduction of hygiene campaigns has proved to be an effective practice in hand hygiene. Although the past decade has witnessed the introduction of various initiatives of maintaining clean hands including multi-disciplinary and multifaceted strategies, the adoption of simple practices plan is the most reliable and sustainable practice of improving the community’s health. In the healthcare setting, the introduction of staff education on the important of adopting best practices in hand hygiene has been vital in improving the standards of the services provided. Healthcare staffs have understood the importance of utilizing alcohol-based rub as a mean of reducing infections when conducting medical procedures. Joint interventions of all actors in healthcare institutions is also vital in ensuring that hand hygiene is maintained in healthcare institutions to eliminate unnecessary and preventable infections. Furthermore, implementers of hand hygiene programs should adopt effective measures that would holistically address some of the barriers that are experienced in the implementation of these programs in modern healthcare institutions. Allison, Aiello, Elaine, and Stuart (2007) support this position by emphasizing the need of using soaps that comprise components that can effectively destroy infective microorganisms.
Hand hygiene procedures and policies are also vital in facilitating the adoption of best practices in hand hygiene. Effective hand hygiene procedures and policies have involved various factors that include hand hygiene indicators, the most effective means of executing hand hygiene, hand care procedures, use of the required chemicals in hand cleaning and the selection of the most effective and reliable hand cleaning products. The understanding of the hand cleaning moments and indicators is also vital in facilitating the adoption of reliable hand cleaning practices. In most instances, hand hygiene indications are the core factors that explain the significant of maintaining clean hand in all social and health settings. Community members need to understand the importance of washing hand before getting the initial contact with edible products such as food and fruits (Jefferson, Foxlee, & Del Mar, 2007). The other most essential moment where hygiene needs to be maintained on hand is before putting gloves when executing aseptic procedures. Clean hands are also essential in the preparation of food to minimise the infections that result from poor food contact (Aiello, Coulborn, Perez and Larson, 2008). Other critical moment that requires adequate hand cleaning involves moment after engaging in body contact with client body fluid, after contact with client residents, and after touching contaminated body parts. In the healthcare setting, the adoption of effective policy that would ensure that clients’ hands are clean is vital in the prevention of unnecessary health challenges, although this intervention is often overlooked.
Appropriate selection of the most effective products of ensuring clean hand is also a vital hygiene hand practice in modern society. Products such as paper towels, lotions, soaps, hand rubs, are vital in the maintenance of clean hands. The choice of hand hygiene products should also be user friendly and cheap to buy and maintain. Community members are also adequately informed on the most effective and readily available products that are vital in the maintenance of health hands. In healthcare institutions, healthcare professionals are aware of the significant of using the right products in the maintenance hands hygiene. The use of appropriate products in healthcare institutions is not only vital in the reduction of unnecessary infections but is also critical in the provision of quality services to clients.
The adoption of modern and most reliable techniques in the maintenance of hygiene hands has also been beneficial in the improvement of health condition in modern society. Furthermore, studies highlights that the society understands the significance of hand wash. According to Tan, Cheng, Soon, Ghazali, and Mahyudin (2012), most food handlers understand the basic best personal hygiene practices; however, conflicts exist on the ideal hand washing procedure.
Studies have confirmed that the removal of arm and hand jewelleries is vital in the maintenance of hygiene hand in modern society. All materials that hinder continuous hand cleaning should be eliminated in order to eradicate unnecessary infections. Washing hand with warm waters helps in killing of germs that might be on individual hands. Recent healthcare institutions have witnessed the introduction of containers that can maintain liquids warm for a substantial period. Other important techniques that foster hands hygiene include the use of antibacterial soap in hand washing, drying hands after washing, cleansing of hand with clean water after washing and turning water taps off with towels to reduce preventable infections. Public education on the importance of maintaining hygiene hand has also proved to be beneficial in the maintenance of health hand.
Modern government and other healthcare institutions have embarked on an initiative intended at ensuring that community members understand the importance of maintaining hygiene hand in order to eliminate unnecessary infections. Studies have confirmed that public awareness is vital in reducing cases of communicable diseases in modern society. Through intensive public campaigns, community members and healthcare professionals have understood the importance of adopting good and reliable hand hygiene behaviours and motivations. However, studies affirm that besides having knowledge of the significance of hand washing, various factors may define whether one may observe hygiene. Dixit, Hagtvedt Reay, Ballermann, Forgies (2012), study highlights that paediatric residents’ compliance with the hygiene standards is influenced by factors such as the role modelling, and motivation from self-protection and clues.
In the light of the above analysis, it is clear that hand hygiene is a vital element in the elimination of preventable infections in the modern society. With an aim of reducing the spread of communicable diseases in modern society, global health agencies have embarked on the initiative that aims at informing healthcare professionals and community members on the importance of maintaining clean and healthy hands. Hygiene hands campaigns have been effective in various parts of the world, although the plan has not been adopted fully in some communities. To completely deal with the challenges that are caused by preventable infections, all actors have a responsibility of establishing reliable policies and approaches that would address the experienced challenges on the existing hand hygiene plans. However, community members also need to be adequately involved in the formulation and in the implementation of modern hand hygiene programs.
The need of rethinking about the significance of the idea of the hand hygiene hands is essential. The accessible studies highlight that scholars have successfully identified reliable practices that foster hand hygiene if adopted accordingly. However, the need for further studies is necessary since besides the proposed strategies, the world is struggling with diseases that results from poor hand hygiene. In this relation, a potential research question in future should attempt to examine the extent to which the identified hand wash practices are capable of preventing the spread of diseases. By responding to this question, the scholars will be in the position of quantifying the efficiency and weaknesses of various hand wash practices thus improving working towards improving their effectiveness.
Aiello AE, Coulborn RM, Perez V, Larson EL. (2008). Effect of hand hygiene on infectious disease risk in the community setting: a meta-analysis. American Journal of Public health, 98:1372-81
Allison E. Aiello, Elaine L. Larson, and Stuart B. Levy. (2007). Consumer Antibacterial Soaps:Effective or Just Risky? Infectious Diseases Society of America. DOI: 10.1086/519255
Dixit, D. Hagtvedt R., Reay, T, Ballermann M, Forgies S. (2012). Attitudes and beliefs about hand hygiene among paediatric residents: a qualitative study. 2(6). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002188.
Jefferson T, Foxlee R, & Del Mar C (2007). Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses: systematic review. British Medical Journal, 336 (7635), 77–80
Schnell BM, Hoekstra RM, Rahbar MH, & Keswick B. (2002). The effect of antibacterial soap on impetigo incidence, Karachi, Pakistan. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 67 (4): 430–5.
Tan, S. L., Cheng, P. L., Soon, H. K., Ghazali, H. and Mahyudin, N. A. (2012). A qualitative study on personal hygiene knowledge and practices among food handlers at selected primary schools in Klang valley area, Selangor, Malaysia. International Food Research Journal 20(1): 71-76
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