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Healthcare - Hand Hygiene/Handwashing Process Template

Use this process template to outline the handwashing process at your healthcare business.

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Healthcare - Hand Hygiene/Handwashing Process Template

Use this process template to outline the handwashing process at your healthcare business.

Importance of Hand Hygiene

Why handwashing is important

Hand hygiene is paramount in the healthcare setting, serving as the primary defense against healthcare-associated infections. It is a simple, cost-effective, and efficient way to prevent the transmission of pathogens. 

Proper hand hygiene can drastically reduce the incidence of infections, protecting both patients and healthcare providers. Moreover, it can prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance by reducing the transmission of drug-resistant pathogens. 

Therefore, adherence to hand hygiene protocols, which include washing with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs, is critical in maintaining a safe and healthy healthcare environment.

Hand Hygiene Procedure

When to wash your hands

According to the CDC, healthcare professionals should perform hand hygiene in several situations: 

  • Before touching a patient. 
  • Before any clean or aseptic procedures. 
  • After potential exposure to bodily fluids. 
  • After touching a patient.
  • After touching a patient's surroundings. 

These practices aim to reduce patient-to-patient transmission of bacteria and viruses, including those resistant to antimicrobial substances. Adherence to these hand hygiene indications is crucial in preventing healthcare-associated infections, promoting patient safety, and improving the overall quality of care in healthcare settings.

Handwashing step-by-step guide

Here is our handwashing procedure:

1. Wet Hands: Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold). Turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Apply Soap: Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.
3. Cover the six steps: Follow the six steps for practicing hand hygiene (as recommended by the World Health Organization). These include: 

  • Rub Hands Palm to Palm: Rub hands palm to palm to obtain a good quantity of foam.
  • Right Palm Over Left Dorsum and Left Palm Over Right Dorsum: Interlace your fingers and rub the backs of your hands and fingers against your palms.
  • Palm to Palm With Fingers Interlaced: Rub your hands palm to palm again with fingers interlaced.
  • Backs of Fingers to Opposing Palms With Fingers Interlocked: Rub the backs of your fingers against your opposing palms, keeping fingers joined.
  • Rotational Rubbing of Left Thumb Clasped in Right Palm and Vice Versa: Rub each thumb in the opposite hand using a rotational movement.
  • Rotational Rubbing, Backwards and Forwards With Clasped Fingers of Right Hand in Left Palm and Vice Versa: Rub your clasped fingers back and forth in your opposite palm.

4. Rinse hands thoroughly with water.
5. Dry Hands: Dry hands thoroughly with a single-use towel.
6. Use Towel to Turn Off Faucet: Use the same towel to turn off the faucet to avoid re-contaminating your hands.

Remember, the entire process should last 40-60 seconds, and special attention should be given to the fingertips, between fingers, and the thumbs, as these are often missed.

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