Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene

This actionable evidence-based practice blueprint provides a checklist for clinicians to create an action plan to improve hand hygiene practices and ensure best patient care. This document is revised as needed to incorporate the latest best practices and gold standard of care. The e-book is available free of charge to anyone. © 2022 Patient Safety Movement Foundation.



The Challenge

Hospital staff hands are the single most common vehicle for the transmission of infectious pathogens in the hospital environment. In fact, hand hygiene compliance in most hospitals is less than 50%, which significantly contributes to the estimated 37,000 deaths each year in European countries and the nearly 99,000 deaths in the US linked to healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Adequate and thorough hand hygiene is the single most important, least costly, and most basic method for reducing HAIs in hospitals. HAI prevention efforts via hand hygiene are estimated to save nearly $35 billion annually. Healthcare organizations that successfully implement actionable steps to improve hand hygiene compliance, as outlined in this blueprint, can substantially reduce the risk of patient harm related to HAIs along with associated readmissions and longer hospital stays.