“Hand hygiene is the most effective way of preventing the spread of infection. The chances of developing an infection can be significantly reduced if healthcare staff cleanse their hands before and after examining patients,” states the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology [APIC]. It seems simple enough. Wash hands. Save lives. Everyone knows how to wash their hands, right?
Not quite. You may not think training on hand hygiene is necessary, but in a healthcare setting where dangerous pathogens can be transferred from one patient to another via the hands of healthcare personnel, hand hygiene goes beyond a quick washing of hands. Training includes when to wash your hands, how to properly wash your hands and what products (i.e. soap and water vs. alcohol-based hand rubs) work best in different situations.

According to The Joint Commission [TJC], most healthcare personnel believe they are sufficiently knowledgeable about hand hygiene, but researchers have found that many workers do not have a clear understanding of the opportunities for hand hygiene. And APIC gives the estimate that “fewer than half of healthcare workers clean their hands as often as they are supposed to.” The TJC monograph, Measuring Hand Hygiene Adherence: Overcoming the Challenges, states, “Training staff on the specific indications for hand hygiene can increase their awareness of the complexity of the indications and make them more sensitive to non-adherence.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] recommends educating healthcare personnel as part of an overall program to improve hand hygiene practices. According to the CDC’s Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings, training needs to include “the types of patient-care activities that can result in hand contamination and the advantages and disadvantages of various methods used to clean their hands.”
Since hand hygiene is so critical in reducing the risk of infections, the majority of Reptrax hospitals require vendor representatives and other commercial visitors, based on their responsibilities and hospital access areas, to receive training on hand hygiene. Reptrax UniversityTM, our new online, compliance training package, offers Infection Control and Aseptic Techniques which includes both basic hand hygiene and the more intense surgical hand antisepsis which is required for operating rooms. Reptrax members can take the course to fulfill the credential requirement and then retake the training as often as necessary for technique reminders and reinforcement learning. Wash hands. Save lives!
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