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Hospitals Fight Antibiotic Resistance, Honor World Hand Hygiene Day

May 05, 2017

Today—May 5—is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual global reminder to health care workers to clean their hands at all the right times, every time. Many Pennsylvania hospitals are working together, as part of HAP’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, to adopt innovative ways to achieve this goal and fight infections, especially those that have developed resistance to antibiotics and antivirals.

Hand hygiene (cleaning your hands) is the single most important intervention to prevent the spread of disease in a health care setting. Hand hygiene compliance among health care workers in all settings has become a crucial strategy in reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses that have become increasingly resistant to the antibiotics and antivirals used to eliminate them.  

To improve hand hygiene practices in health care, WHO is asking that: 

  • Healthcare workers clean their hands at the right times
  • Chief executive officers and managers support hand hygiene campaigns and infection- prevention efforts to protect patients from antibiotic-resistant infections
  • Infection prevention and control practitioners lead hand hygiene campaigns as part of their overall infection prevention programs
  • Policymakers support and commit to national infection-prevention efforts

Hospitals participating in HAP’s HIIN are working together to reduce health care-acquired infections. HIIN hospitals commit to implementing evidence-based practices for hand hygiene and other infection-prevention strategies. 

For more information, please contact Mary Catanzaro, HAP HIIN project manager for infection-prevention. 

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