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HomeHealthWhy Hand Hygiene Is Especially Important In The Hospital Setting

Why Hand Hygiene Is Especially Important In The Hospital Setting

Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent infection. In a hospital setting, where patients are already vulnerable to illness, it is even more crucial to prevent the spread of disease. It is estimated that up to 80% of hospital-acquired infections could be prevented with proper hand hygiene. The hospital setting presents a unique challenge regarding hand hygiene, as there are many opportunities for disease to spread. There are several reasons why hand hygiene is crucial in the hospital setting. Here are a few reasons why hand hygiene is vital in the hospital.

Hospital is Full Of Sick People

Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent infection. Patients in the hospital are already sick, so it’s essential to do everything possible to reduce the risk of getting sicker. It’s also essential to prevent the spread of infection to staff and visitors. There are many opportunities for spreading infection in the hospital setting. Many sick people are close to each other, and patients usually have contact with the staff. Many surfaces, such as door handles, bed rails, and IV poles, can harbor bacteria and viruses. It’s essential to clean your hands often in the hospital. Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after interacting with patients. It would be best if you also cleaned your hands after touching any surfaces in the patient’s room, such as the bedside table or the call button.

You May Be Carrying Infections

Many people who come to the hospital are carrying infections without knowing it. This is especially true of healthcare workers, who may be exposed to many different bacteria and viruses over the course of their job. It’s essential to clean your hands often, even if you don’t think you’re carrying anything, to protect yourself and others from these potential infections. It only takes a small number of bacteria to cause disease, and it only takes a few seconds to clean your hands. It is also advisable for hospitals to adopt the use of a hygiene monitoring standard. Have you heard about the LeapFrog hygiene monitoring standard? It is a set of best practice standards for healthcare organizations to help them improve their hand hygiene compliance rates. This standard includes various measures, such as training staff on proper hand hygiene techniques, providing adequate hand sanitizer and soap supplies, and monitoring compliance via audits.

You Could Spread Infections

If you carry an infection, you can quickly spread it to others by touch. Even if you don’t feel sick, you could still be passing on bacteria or viruses to other people. By regularly washing your hands, you can help to prevent the spread of infection. The most common way that hospital patients pick up an infection is by contacting someone carrying the bacteria or virus. It only takes a small number of bacteria to cause an infection, which can be easily transferred from one person to another. Hospital patients are more susceptible to picking up diseases because their immune system is often weakened.

You Could Pick Up Infections

If you don’t wash your hands regularly, you will likely pick up infections. This is because you will constantly be coming into contact with bacteria and viruses, which can cause infections. The most common illnesses picked up in hospitals are MRSA and C. difficile. Therefore, you must wash your hands regularly to help reduce the spread of these infections. Though, even if you wash your hands regularly, there is still a risk of picking up infections as bacteria and viruses can be transferred via surfaces such as door handles and countertops.

You Could Pick Up Infections

Prevents Disease Outbreak

One of the most important reasons to practice good hand hygiene is to prevent disease outbreaks. If a patient is infected with a disease, it can quickly spread throughout the hospital, impacting staff and other patients. By washing your hands, you can help stop the spread of disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthcare workers wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after having contact with patients. It’s also essential to clean your hands after contact with surfaces in the hospital that may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses.

Reduces Antibiotic Resistance

Another important reason to practice good hand hygiene is that it can help reduce antibiotic resistance. When bacteria are constantly exposed to antibiotics, they can mutate and become resistant to the drug. This is a significant problem in hospitals, where patients with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of contracting antibiotic-resistant infections. It’s estimated that up to 50% of antibiotic resistance is due to improper use of antibiotics, such as not completing the full course of treatment or using them for viruses (which they can’t treat). Good hand hygiene can help reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and promote the proper use of these life-saving drugs.

Reduces Overall Healthcare Cost

By preventing the spread of disease and infection, hand hygiene among healthcare providers can significantly reduce the overall cost of care. A recent study found that if all hospital staff cleaned their hands regularly, it could save the US healthcare system up to $5.7 billion annually. The cost of treating patients with healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) is also staggeringly high. In the US alone, HAIs add around $28 to $33 billion to the annual healthcare bill. More so, it’s estimated that each HAI increases a patient’s length of stay by an average of 4.5 days and their hospital bill by an average of $15,000. Therefore, by simply practicing proper hand hygiene, healthcare providers can go a long way in reducing the overall cost of care.

In conclusion, hand hygiene is especially important in the hospital setting for several reasons. First, hospitals are places where people with a wide variety of illnesses come for treatment, so it is important to minimize the spread of infection. Second, hospitals are often crowded and busy places, which makes it easy for germs to spread from person to person. Finally, many patients in hospitals are immunocompromised and more vulnerable to infections, so it is important to take extra precautions to prevent the spread of disease.

ThriveVerge
ThriveVergehttps://thriveverge.com
The founder and CEO at ThriveVerge, The Verge, and Thrive Revolution. He launched Thriveverge in 2016, a leading behavior change technology, business, media, and entertainment company with the mission of ending the collective delusion that burning out is the price we have to pay for success.
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