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Don’t Let Up on Handwashing

Now is the time to set a hand hygiene protocol that sticks

July 23, 2020

Handwashing is a topic that comes up often, as it is an old-school yet effective method of preventing the spread of viral and bacterial diseases. However, workers in health care facilities continue to miss opportunities to wash their hands, Infection Control Today reports. Even if hand hygiene protocols are in place, compliance tends to fall off within one year. Americans, in general, are not good about washing their hands properly.

Recent studies on hand hygiene compliance offer various excuses on why workers in health care facilities neglect to wash their hands:

  • They forgot
  • They were wearing gloves
  • Their hands were full
  • Their skin was irritated
  • They were in and out of rooms
  • Hand hygiene products had a strange odor or left a film on their hands.

Instead of being dismissed, these reasons can be used to implement improved handwashing standards using new methods and products. COVID-19 will bring about a lasting hand hygiene outcome in health care facilities when professional development educators and infection control specialists design educational programs that create a lasting behavior change.

Even if scientists develop a vaccine to protect people from COVID-19, a strong handwashing protocol can help protect people from other infectious for which there is no vaccine: such as norovirus, C. difficile, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and other healthcare-acquired infections.

Get tips for proper handwashing as well as other information to help stop the spread of COVID-19 on ISSA’s coronavirus resources webpage.

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