clean hands count

Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC introduces ‘Clean Hands Count’ campaign for health care workers

May 9, 2016

Atlanta – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a campaign intended to improve hand hygiene in the health care industry.

The Clean Hands Count campaign encourages health care workers to wash their hands more often and observe CDC recommendations for hand hygiene. The campaign also urges patients to ask health care workers to wash their hands if they do not observe the workers doing so. Brochures, posters and fact sheets are available for both health care workers and patients.

CDC guidelines recommend that health care workers wash their hands before and after coming in contact with a patient. This means that, depending on their workload, health care workers may have to clean their hands as many as 100 times during a 12-hour shift. However, CDC claims these workers wash their hands less than half as often as they should, potentially putting themselves and their patients at risk for infection.

Each year, about 722,000 infections related to health care occur in U.S. hospitals, and about 75,000 infected patients die during their hospital stay.

“Patients depend on their medical team to help them get well, and the first step is making sure health care professionals aren’t exposing them to new infections,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a press release. “Clean hands really do count and in some cases can be a matter of life and death.”