Most germs that cause serious infections in healthcare are spread by people’s actions. Performing excellent hand hygiene is a great way to prevent infections.
Did you know that healthcare providers might need to clean their hands as many as 100 times per 12-hour shift?
When it comes to 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.