Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene is one of the most effective measures to reduce the occurrence of hospital associated infections (HAI). The single most common way of transferring the organisms that cause HAI’s is on the hands of healthcare workers. An increase in hand hygiene adherence of only 20 percent results in a 40 percent reduction in the rate of health care associated infections.

There are two acceptable methods of performing hand hygiene:

  • An alcohol based hand rub
  • Soap and running water

Alcohol is the preferred means within health care settings as it is accessible at the point of care.

The Point of Care is the place where three things meet:

  • Patient
  • Healthcare provider
  • Care involving contact

There are circumstances involving certain microorganisms when washing with soap and water is preferable i.e. clostridium difficile.

There are four key moments when hand hygiene should occur. These are known globally as the 4 Moments of Hand Hygiene

New legislation within the Patient Safety Act from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness requires District Health authorities in the Province to report adherence rates for hand hygiene of healthcare workers. 

Join Canada’s Hand Hygiene Challenge now!