Healthcare Headlines Blog

Infection Prevention Week - Hand Hygiene

By Kindred Healthcare

October 20-26 is Infection Prevention Week. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the role infection prevention plays to improve patient safety. Kindred's Hospital Division has numerous Infection Prevention Initiatives in place to prevent the spread of infection and protect the health of patients.

The best way to prevent the spread of germs is for healthcare workers to wash their hands frequently, to properly disinfect hospital surfaces and to take other precautions, such as wearing gowns and gloves when working with people infected with resistant bacteria. Patients, family members and visitors also play a role in infection prevention and can help by properly washing their hands and wearing protective coverings as needed.

Hand HygieneWhat is hand hygiene and why is it important?

Hospital patients are generally unwell, recovering from a procedure or may have decreased immunity leaving them at increased risk of infection from germs. We want to help stop patients from getting these infections because they often cause lengthy and serious infection in people who are already unwell. Clean hands are the single most effective way to prevent the spread of disease and should be practiced by all staff, patients and visitors.

You can protect yourself and your family from hospital-acquired infections by keeping your hands clean and your skin healthy!

What can I do to help when I am a patient?

• Clean your hands often with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
• Practice hand hygiene before and after eating or drinking and after using the restroom
• Be sure your visitors clean their hands
• Ask the staff to help you clean your hands if you are unable to clean them yourself

What can I do to help when I am a visitor?

• Clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water when entering and leaving a hospital room
• Avoid contact with their wounds, dressings, intravenous lines or other medical equipment
• Clean hands after glove use, before and after eating and drinking and after using the restroom

How do I clean my hands correctly?

Alcohol-based Products
• Apply one pump of product on the palm of your hand
• Rub hands together covering all surfaces of your hands until they are dry

Soap and Water
• Wet hands with warm water
• Apply one pump of soap
• Rub hands together vigorously for at least 15 - 20 seconds, covering all surfaces of the hands and fingers
• Rinse hands thoroughly
• Dry with a paper towel
• Use a clean paper towel to turn off the water
• Discard towel in the trash container

By Kindred Healthcare