Infection Network

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is a building block for healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention.

The practices in the Road Map to a Comprehensive Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) Prevention Program, including the hand hygiene section, guide organizations in developing the infrastructure necessary to support and sustain infection prevention best practices.

Sample Tools

Controlling CDI Hand Hygiene Tool Kit.
Developed by the Minnesota Hospital Association and partner hospitals. Toolkit Includes:

Hand Hygiene Observation Record Sheet. This sample record sheet can be used by staff to record hand hygiene upon entry or exit of a patient’s room. (1-page Word doc)

Handwashing Poster: Don’t Forget Your Thumbs. Poster reminds staff and visitors to wash their hands completely to avoid passing germs. (1-page PDF)

How-to Guide: Improving Hand Hygiene, A Guide for Improving Practices among Health Care Workers. Use this guide from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to help reduce healthcare-associated infections in your organization, including infections due to antibiotic-resistant organisms, by improving hand hygiene practices and use of gloves among health care workers. (32-page PDF)

Infection Control: It's in Your Hands. The "break the chain" video shows how easy it is for hospital-acquired infections like MRSA and Clostridium difficile to be spread. University Hospital Birmingham (4:30 minute video)

Professional Education and Training

20 Ohio Hospitals Reduce Infections by Improving Hand Washing. A two year initiative by the Ohio Hospital Association Central Ohio Hospital Quality Collaborative improved hand-hygiene compliance across 20 central Ohio hospitals, increasing from a rate of 29 percent in August 2010 to 86 percent in November 2012.

This I Vow - Importance of Hand Hygiene. Norton Healthcare's hand hygiene video stresses the importance of proper hand cleansing.

Training Materials for Hand Hygiene. CDC training list.

Via Christi Health showcases clever PSA about hand washing,1940s style. Show this video to your staff that a nurse created for Patient Safety Awareness Week.

References, Guidelines, Standards

Basic Infection Control and Prevention Plan for Outpatient Oncology Settings. CDC webpages includes identifying potentially infectious patients, contact precautions, droplet precautions and airborne precautions.

CDC Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene guidelines for healthcare facilities. It provides healthcare workers with a review of data regarding handwashing and hand antisepsis in healthcare settings. In addition, it provides specific recommendations to promote improved hand-hygiene practices and reduce transmission of pathogenic microorganisms to patients and personnel in health-care settings. October 2002

Guide to Implementation. A guide to the implementation of the World Health Organization’s multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy. (48-page PDF)

Hand Hygiene Storyboard. Analyzing eight leading hospitals and health systems across the nation, The Joint Commission's Center for Transforming Healthcare identifies the main causes of failure to clean hands and offers targeted solutions. (7-page PDF)

Measuring Hand Hygiene Adherence: Overcoming the Challenges. This two-year collaboration of The Joint Commission and six organizations provides a framework to decide what, when, why, and how to measure hand hygiene performance. It includes resources to select the appropriate measurement approaches, examples of methods and tools, and evidence-based guidelines and published literature. (232-page PDF)

National Patient Safety Goals. Patient safety goals effective January 1, 2012 for the Hospital Accreditation Program. (13-page PDF)

WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care. These hand hygiene guidelines for health care settings developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) are a comprehensive review of scientific data on hand hygiene rationale and practices in healthcare. This extensive review includes in one document sufficient technical information to support training materials and help plan implementation strategies. (270-page PDF) Guide to implement the guidelines (48-page PDF)

Patient Education

Hand Hygiene Saves Lives. This CDC patient education brochure explains the importance of hand hygiene, focusing on Why, When, How, Which, and Who. (2-page PDF)

La higiene de las manos salva vidas. This Spanish language patient education brochure explains the importance of hand hygiene, focusing on Why, When, How, Which, and Who. (2-page PDF)