The Importance Of Hand Hygiene On Health Care Environment

1144 Words Nov 6th, 2015 5 Pages
The Importance of Hand Hygiene in the Health Care Environment
Introduction
Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) affect over 1.7 million patients each year, causing almost 100,000 deaths annually in the United States alone (Johnson, 2010). According to the World Health Organization, HAIs are the most frequent adverse event in the healthcare industry. Fortunately, most of these infections can be prevented with one single intervention, proper hand hygiene (“The Evidence,” n.d.). Four out of five pathogens that cause illness are spread by direct contact. Proper hand hygiene eliminates these pathogens and helps to prevent cross-contamination and HAIs (Linton, 2015; “Hand Hygiene,” n.d.). Reduction of cross-contamination and HAIs improves patient outcomes, increases employee wellness, and lowers health care costs. Adherence to proper hand hygiene is the single most important safety measure in the health care setting. However, for many years compliance to proper hand hygiene in the healthcare industry has been dismally low. New and inventive measures must be implemented to increase compliance to proper hand hygiene and lower the rate of hospital-acquired infections.
Main Body
The importance of proper hand hygiene has been known for many years. “It has long been an established fact that one of the most dangerous agents in the transfer of bacteria is the human hand with its five fingers…Such being the case, pray let us teach our students to wash their hands and see to it that they…
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