For the next four weeks, Platte Valley will be focusing on hand hygiene awareness. Practicing great hand hygiene is not only the best way to protect our patients, it’s also expected as a part of our behavior standards. And, who knows, you may get caught hand washing and be rewarded with a $1 off coupon for the Bistro!
Stay tuned to the ICE for the next 4 weeks for more information on great hand hygiene. Let’s make hand hygiene a little bit fun this week with this video from our friends at Good Samaritan:
To help promote proper hand-hygiene practices, consider the following:
- “Spread the word not germs” by promoting the importance of proper hand washing.
- Know when to wash. While it’s important to regularly wash your hands, it’s even more important to wash your hands after certain activities such as using the toilet; before, during and after preparing food; touching an animal; blowing your nose; coughing, or sneezing. It can also be beneficial to wash hands after coming into contact with frequently touched items, such as door handles or light switches.
- Don’t skip the soap. Washing hands with soap and water is the best and most effective way to reduce the number of microbes and germs on hands. Studies show that you should scrub your hands, including areas between fingers and around the base of your hands, with soap for a minimum of 15-30 seconds in order to effectively remove germs.
- Dry hands completely. According to research, hand drying is essential to staving off bacteria after hand washing as germs are more easily transferred to and from wet hands.
- Dry hands with paper towels. Studies conducted show that paper towels can help remove bacteria, unlike air dryers which can increase bacteria counts. Paper towels are also less likely to contaminate other restroom users as air dryers have also been shown to spread bacteria between three and six feet from the device.
To complement a hand washing program, disinfect high-touch surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons, desks, keyboards, and phones regularly. Because viruses and bacteria are estimated to remain on hard surfaces for up to 18 hours, be sure to use a combination of anti-microbial cleaners and disinfectants to remove and kill pathogenic micro-organisms that thrive in these areas.
Remember: good hand hygiene is a responsibility we all must take seriously for our own health and safety as well as that of our patients.