Clean hands are the single most important factor in preventing the spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings. Hand hygiene reduces the incidence of healthcare associated infections. CDC estimates that each year nearly 2 million patients in the United States get an infection in hospitals, and about 90,000 of these patients die as a result of their infection. More widespread use of hand hygiene products that improve adherence to recommended hand hygiene practices will promote patient safety and prevent infections.
Healthcare workers should wash hands with soap and water when hands are visibly dirty, contaminated or soiled and use an alcohol-based handrub when hands are not visibly soiled to reduce bacterial counts.
In summary, alcohol-based handrubs provide several advantages compared with handwashing with soap and water, because they not only require less time, they also act faster. In addition, alcohol-based handrubs are more effective for standard handwashing than soap, are more accessible than sinks, are the most efficacious agents for reducing the number of bacteria on the hands of healthcare workers, and can even provide improved skin condition.
Plain soap is good at reducing bacterial counts but antimicrobial soap is better, and alcohol-based handrubs are the best.
Health Promotion by Way of Hand Washing Theresa W. Teverbaugh RN, MS, CLNC, APN 2 nd Toastmasters Speech @ Salem Baptist Church of Chicago 2006.
Health Promotion encourages people to achieve as high a level of wellness as possible
Health Promotion principles include: focus on personal character (meaning accept responsibility-become concerned about others), self-disciplining (in other words cast out laziness), focus on the word of god (that making sure the truth and power of the scriptures stand out in every area of our lives)
A process for the removal of soil and transient microorganisms from the hands.
Effective Handwashing Source: APIC Guideline for Handwashing and Hand Antisepsis in Health Care Settings
"Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection."
Hand-transmission is the major source of bacterial, pathogens, viruses which cause disease, food borne illness and nonsocomial infections.
Everyone is at risk, but nearly one-third of the population is a high risk. These people being elderly, very young, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems (which may be from the common cold).
Effective Handwashing “ It is known that hand washing causes a significant reduction in the carriage of pathogens on the hands.” Source: APIC Guideline for Handwashing and Hand Antisepsis in Health Care Settings
We can also pick up germs from objects, such as doorknobs and stair railings, touched by other people who aren't good hand washers. Think about all the things you touch each day and how many people may have touched them before you.