- Interior Design
Is Hand Hygiene Enough?
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For more than a decade, researchers and healthcare professionals have been fighting an uphill battle against healthcare acquired infections (HAIs). The impacts go well beyond the financial costs of having to treat patients who got sicker in the hospital. The toll in human terms is staggering when tallying the suffering and death of patients.
One of the critical lines of defense is something your mother taught you: Wash your hands. But, the research shows hand hygiene isn’t 100%, especially in terms of healthcare worker compliance. Some authors have opined that 80% compliance may be the best we can hope for. And there is a dearth of hard science showing that all that soap and water or hand gel is really reducing HAIs.
A growing body of research has revealed that surfaces in hospitals and other healthcare facilities – specifically, privacy curtains and surface touchpoints – are hotbeds of contamination. Even with protocol-driven laundering and housekeeping, gaps remain and re-contamination happens. This leads us to conclude that R&D into safeguarding these surfaces may be the next battleground.