Healthcare professionals learning in a classroom Healthcare professionals learning in a classroom

World Hand Hygiene Day on 5.5.2024

3/18/2024

In order to stop the spread of harmful germs, sharing knowledge about hand hygiene remains essential!

The World Health Organization (WHO) will again call for the annual World Hand Hygiene Day on May 5, representing the fingers of our hands. This year‘s slogan: “Why is sharing knowledge about hand hygiene still so important? Because it helps stop the spread of harmful germs in health care” makes it clear that sharing knowledge about the topic of hand hygiene—for example through effective training—is just as important as it was 15 years ago, when the day of action was celebrated for the first time. Many healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) can still be prevented by carrying out hand hygiene correctly at the right time. The aim of this year’s campaign is therefore to further expand the knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals (HCPs) and enhance infection prevention and control (ICP). This should be achieved primarily through innovative and effective training on infection prevention and improving access to training [1].

Awareness of proper hand hygiene: one of the most important requirements

Grafic sterillium dispenser

In order to effectively train HCPs on hand hygiene, novel approaches such as virtual reality (VR) training can also be used. In fact, a recent study showed that two-thirds of participants actually preferred it over conventional lectures, even though the overall effect observed on HHC in this example was slightly better using the conventional method (increase from 81% to 95% vs. to 87% after VR) [5].

We at HARTMANN also offer an extensive training and continuing education program about proper hand hygiene – both online and in person. Find out more about it on the HARTMANN Academy.

In order to effectively train HCPs on hand hygiene, novel approaches such as virtual reality (VR) training can also be used. In fact, a recent study showed that two-thirds of participants actually preferred it over conventional lectures, even though the overall effect observed on HHC in this example was slightly better using the conventional method (increase from 81% to 95% vs. to 87% after VR) [5].

We at HARTMANN also offer an extensive training and continuing education program about proper hand hygiene – both online and in person. Find out more about it on the HARTMANN Academy.

Hand health in the operating room: essential for safety

Hand health in the operating room also plays a crucial role for the safety of patients and HCPs. A conscious approach to hand hygiene is not only essential to minimize the risk of infections, but also essential for healthy skin and the integrity of the hands. Since cracked skin can promote the colonization of microorganisms, skin care and protection is extremely important. It has a positive effect on cracked and dry skin, creates a healthy skin surface and thus ensures that hand disinfectants are effective. With regard to the operating room, it has also been shown that training has a positive effect on HHC of HCPs. A study on hand hygiene in anesthesia demonstrated that training based on the WHO campaign material and improved access to hand hygiene products significantly increased HHC for each of the five moments for hand hygiene, while glove use decreased [6].

HARTMANN product portfolio focuses specifically on the hands in the operating room

The knowledge that hands can play a significant role in the transmission of germs has led HARTMANN to create a product portfolio that specifically focuses on hands in the operating room. In order to provide comprehensive protection and thus avoid infections, the HARTMANN products are all logically interconnected. In addition to skin-friendly washing lotions and hand disinfectants as well as protective care lotions, the total package also includes high-quality and compatible surgical gloves. We also provide you with a video and a poster that clearly summarize the most important aspects of surgical hand disinfection.

Surgical hand disinfection – The correct practice

Improve hand hygiene with effective training — also in the operating room

This year’s World Hand Hygiene Day illustrates once again: sharing knowledge is a continuous process that thrives on repetition. You too can promote proper hand hygiene and health—including in the operating room—and take advantage of the wide range of training courses available. You can also share your commitment using the hashtags #SaveLifesCleanYour Hands and #MissionInfectionPrevention. On our website, you will find further interesting information about the campaign day and our product range. Information about the official WHO campaign can be found here.

Poster

Sources:

  1. https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-hand-hygiene-day/world-hand-hygiene-day-2024
  2. Graveto JMGDN, et al. (2018) Hand hygiene: nurses' adherence after training. Rev Bras Enferm 71: 1189-1193. https://doi.org/10.1590/0034-7167-2017-0239
  3. Hoffmann M, et al. (2018) Interventions to increase hand hygiene compliance in a tertiary university hospital over a period of 5 years: An iterative process of information, training and feedback. J Clin Nurs 28: 912-919. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14703
  4. Han C, et al. (2021) Effects of a 4-year intervention on hand hygiene compliance and incidence of healthcare associated infections: a longitudinal study. Infection 49: 977-981. https://doi.org/10.1007/s15010-021-01626-5
  5. Eichel VM, et al. (2022) Is virtual reality suitable for hand hygiene training in health care workers? Evaluating an application for acceptability and effectiveness. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 11: 91. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-022-01127-6
  6. Paul ET, et al. (2019) Sleep safe in clean hands: Improving hand hygiene compliance in the operating room through education and increased access to hand hygiene products. Am J Infect Control 47: 504-508. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2018.10.021

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