A study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases shows that the World Health Organization’s strategy for improving hand hygiene has a dramatic effect in reducing the number of health-care related infections and is easy for health-care workers to practice. ICN’s fact sheet on infection control states that hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the transmission of infections. Because nurses are in close contact with patients, they are exposed to a variety of microbes, some of which may cause disease. By adhering to appropriate hand washing guidelines, nurses can prevent infection transmission.
The WHO hand-hygiene compliance strategy consists of five main components:
- ensuring health-care workers have access to alcohol-based handrub at the point of patient care;
- training and education of health-care workers on the most important times in patient care for hand hygiene;
- monitoring and feedback on compliance;
- visual reminders at the point of care in the workplace;
- creation of a culture of attention to patient and health-care worker safety within the institution.