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Health Care Organizations Focus on Hand Hygiene to Prevent Sepsis

May 03, 2018

The World Health Organization (WHO) is stressing that on May 5, health care organizations focus on the importance of hand hygiene in preventing sepsis.

WHO, in its latest effort to improve hand hygiene compliance and reduce sepsis, has declared May 5 as World Hand Hygiene Day and developed the following call for action for health care organizations:

  • Health workers should “Take 5 Moments to clean their hands to prevent sepsis in health care”
  • Infection Prevention and Control leaders to champion efforts to improve hand hygiene and prevent sepsis
  • Health facility leaders to make hand hygiene a quality indicator
  • Ministries of health to reduce sepsis by making hand hygiene a national marker of health quality
  • Patient advocacy groups to ask health care workers to perform hand hygiene to prevent sepsis in health care

Patients may be admitted to the hospital already having the potentially deadly infection or it may develop during a hospital stay. In either case, quick diagnosis and treatment is critical. Hand hygiene has always been the key to stopping the spread of infectious disease both outside and inside a health care setting.

Hospitals that are part of Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) Hospital Improvement and Innovation (HIIN) are working together to reduce health care-associated infections (HAIs) such as catheter associated urinary tract infections and central line-associated blood stream infections by increasing compliance with hand hygiene in their facilities. HAP HIIN hospitals are also implementing evidence-based practices to rapidly identify and treat patients with sepsis when they encounter a health care setting.

For more information on the HAP HIIN HAI collaborative, contact Mary Catanzaro, HAP’s project manager, infection prevention. For information on the HAP HIIN sepsis project, contact Maggie Miller, HAP’s project coordinator, sepsis.

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