New Hand Hygiene Campaign Launched by CDC
May 14, 2016 09:15 AM
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched the new “Clean Hands Count” campaign to encourage health care professionals, patients and their families to prevent the spread of infections by practicing good hand hygiene. The goal of the campaign is to improve healthcare provider adherence to CDC hand hygiene recommendations. The CDC stated that on average health care professionals clean their hands “less than half of the times that they should.”
“Patients depend on their medical team to help them get well, and the first step is making sure healthcare professionals aren’t exposing them to new infections,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Clean hands really do count and in some cases can be a matter of life and death.”
The campaign also addresses what the CDC calls “myths and misperceptions” about hand hygiene, including the mistaken belief that using alcohol-based hand sanitizer contributes to antibiotic resistance or that it is damaging to hands.
In addition, the campaign attempts to empower patients by encouraging them to speak to their health care team about the importance of cleaning their hands. “We know that patients can feel hesitant to speak up, but they are important members of the health care team and should expect clean hands from providers,” said Arjun Srinivasan, M.D., associate director for healthcare-associated infection prevention programs at CDC. “We know that healthcare providers want the best for their patients, so we want to remind them that the simple step of cleaning their hands protects their patients.”
The CDC stated that “an estimated 722,000 healthcare-associated infections occur each year in U.S. hospitals, and about 75,000 patients with these infections die during their hospital stays.”
The campaign materials are available here: www.cdc.gov/handhygiene.