Clean care is safer care -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Clean care is safer care

Photo: Using sanitizer

Washing your hands often is not enough. Only sanitizer is effective against HAI; © Olson

Right hand hygiene is one of the simplest, but also most important measures to protect yourself and others from dangerous infections. In hospitals, not only the patient but also medical and nursing staff are protected by hand hygiene.

In times of Ebola and multiresistant hospital germs it is more important than ever for healthcare workers to clean their hands. This year’s motto of World Day of Hand Hygiene therefore is "Clean care is safer care". The project initiated by WHO aims to stem infections in hospitals and the healthcare sector.

WHO launched the World Day of Hand Hygiene in 2009. Hand hygiene in healthcare has saved by now millions of lives in the last years and so is a quality indicator of safe healthcare.

Save lives and clean your hands

Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) frequently occur as the case at Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) showed at the beginning of January. The Problem: Pathogens like acinetobacter baumannii are invisible and are introduced into hospitals unintentionally. If internal hygiene control measures are not strong enough, an outbreak can occur quickly. Healthcare workers have to pay attention especially in the area of diagnosis and treatment, because pathogens move from person to person via the hands.

Therefore, it also is a political challenge that has to be addressed by those responsible. Infections can be stopped by good hand hygiene. Patients and caregivers can already be effectively protected with low capital expenditure. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is very important. Only sanitizer can prevent HAI.

The WHO wants to draw attention not only on efficient hygiene management with their project "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands", but also appeal to everybody’s social responsibility.

More about the World Day of Hand Hygiene: World Health Organization (WHO)

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New guidance on contact precautions for hospital visitors
Lessons to be learned from Ebola epidemic
Anti-microbial coatings with a long-term effect for surfaces