May 5th is World Hand Hygiene Day — Save Lives – Keep Your Hands Clean!

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Clean and healthy hands count for all healthcare personnel at every level of healthcare delivery. CDC joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in observing World Hand Hygiene Day. Today and every day, we remind all healthcare personnel that practicing good hand hygiene, such as using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or washing your hands with soap and water, is an effective way to help prevent the spread of germs and protect yourself and your patients against infections.

Did you know? 

  • Healthcare personnel might need to clean their hands as many as 100 times per 12-hour shift, depending on the number of patients and intensity of care. Learn more about hand hygiene science
  • Always clean your hands after removing gloves. 
  • Remember to clean your thumbs, fingertips, and in between fingers when using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. 

Find new resources for healthcare personnel: 

  • Watch the new Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings Video Series to learn how to Engage, Educate, Execute and Evaluate hand hygiene programs in healthcare settings. 
  • Download Clean Hands Count campaign educational materials in English and Spanish to empower patients to ask healthcare personnel to clean their hands as part of providing safe care. 
  • Learn how to recognize infection risks in health care with resources from CDC’s Project Firstline.

Remember: Hundreds of millions of germs live on our skin. Practice safe care by keeping your hands clean – clean hands count for every patient, every time!