Healthcare facilities around the country have begun implementing an innovative “new” technique to keep employees and residents healthy. The “new” technique? Hand washing. The reason for this renewed push of hand hygiene is the number of healthcare-associated infections caused by poor hand hygiene among care workers. The collective outcome of these unsanitary practices is a yearly average of thirty million dollars spent in response measures, 20 million sick patients and 90,000 deaths.
Although it may seem archaic, the truth is that with all of today’s amazing technology, something as simple as failing to wash our hands is having such a devastating impact. Why is it that care workers appear reluctant to do something that is seemingly so simple yet important for their own health as well as their patients’? The answer may be simple. Hand washing is time-consuming and nay cause severe hand dryness, both big deterrents from frequent hand washing. When a nurse is running from patient to patient he or she does not necessarily have one minute to spare (the recommended amount of time to spend washing one’s hands) in between.
The results of a recent study show that health care workers who washed their hands in between patients spent an average of 56 minuets during their shift washing their hands. That’s almost an hour of work spent at the sink! Additionally, constantly washing your hands with water and soap causes severe dryness over time, which can be very painful and inconvenient.
It seems like such a simple thing- if you wash your hands you can help prevent the spread of serious infections and keep patients safe. However, many studies have shown time and time again that common hand washing routines are not as easy as they could be. Various facilities have implemented hand sanitizer stations and lotions and although hand hygiene has improved with these measures it still seems far from being a resolved issue. One of our partnered vendors is working tirelessly to solve this problem for your facility!
Stay tuned to our social media to see how Medline is innovating hand hygiene and find out how you can get involved!