Surgeons washing hands

Winter is upon us and bacterial and viral infections are in the air. To help prevent individuals from staying home from work or co-workers from getting sick, wash your hands regularly! Simple right? These simple hand-washing reminders are great ideas you can implement every day.

Always wash your hands after you use the restroom, before eating food, after being on public transportation or outside and any time your hands are visibly dirty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that you wash your hands after touching your adorable animals.

If you have a respiratory infection, such as the common cold or the flu, you may want to clean your hands more often than usual. If you’re coughing and sneezing, you could be contaminating your hands and spreading the bug to others.

When Working in Healthcare Settings, Be Extremely Careful!

Hand hygiene is always important. But, it’s crucial if you’re working in the hospital or an outpatient setting where severe and sometimes antibiotic-resistant infections can hide. If you are hospitalized or caring for someone who is, please pay attention to ensure the healthcare personnel have washed their hands upon entering your room. If not, speak up. Hospital administrators are expected to lead a year-round infection prevention and control program to protect their patients from resistant infections. Adequate hand hygiene reduces the risk of healthcare-associated infections. Clean hands make the health system a safer place to receive care. This is very important because not only can personnel transmit infections, but also can get sick themselves. That isn’t ideal.

What’s the Best Way to Wash?

We all know that washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective method for reducing the number of germs on your hands. Plain soap is best— skip antibacterial products because there’s no evidence that they work any better than regular soap and they may encourage the breeding of bacteria that can’t be cured by antibiotics. If you have no access to soap and water, using a hand sanitizer made with at least 60 percent alcohol is the next best option. However, hand sanitizers won’t eliminate all germs, according to the CDC.For example, they’re ineffective against Clostridium difficile (C. diff), a hard-to-cure infection that’s common in hospitals.

Healthcare infection prevention has always been a focus of Great Plains QIN’s prevention efforts. Good infection prevention and control practices to change behaviors to reduce the spread of infections can save the lives of millions. Without behavior change, antibiotic resistance will remain a major threat. For more hand-washing tips and information about antibiotic resistance, click here


Source: Consumer Reports