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Running head: HAND HYGIENE AND INFECTIONS IN HOSPITALS 1 Hand Hygiene and Infections in Hospitals Student’s Name Institutional Affiliation
HAND HYGIENE AND INFECTIONS IN HOSPITALS 2 Hand Hygiene and Infections in Hospitals A1. Healthcare Problem The healthcare problem is non-compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers in hospital settings which leads to healthcare-acquired infections. One of the most effective and simplest ways of preventing infections is through hand hygiene practices. Hand hygiene involves cleaning hands by use of water and disinfectants thus preventing the spread of germs that may cause infections. According to various studies, healthcare providers have been found to practice hand hygiene less than the way they should. According to (Shobowale, Adegunle, & Onyedibe, 2016) hand hygiene is a cornerstone in the prevention of infections in healthcare systems. Many of the infections that occur in hospitals are a result of non-compliance to hand hygiene by healthcare workers. Embracing hand hygiene has become a global interest as it is essential not only to the hospital but also to the patients. A2. Significance of the Problem In the contemporary setting, many individuals are affected by healthcare-associated infections that occur in hospitals. Maintaining hand hygiene has been proven to reduce the transmission of pathogens through the hands of healthcare workers. It also reduces the rate of nosocomial infections such as skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory tract infections (Shobowale, Adegunle, & Onyedibe, 2016). Before the release of WHO guidelines on hand hygiene, poor hand hygiene has resulted in prolonged hospital stays, increased use of antibiotics, an increase in healthcare costs and high mortality rates (McLaws, 2015). Although hand hygiene is a simple practice and many healthcare workers have gained knowledge through WHO guidelines, putting these guidelines into practice has been a major challenge. This issue is evident through high rates of infections in the hospital both in developed and developing nations. According to Sharma
HAND HYGIENE AND INFECTIONS IN HOSPITALS 3 (2018), CDC’s data shows that approximately 722,000 Americans acquire hospital-acquired infections every year and out of this population about 10% of them die due to infections. Besides, developing countries experience greater impacts of hospital-acquired infection as compared to the developed nations with a rate of higher than 15% (Sharma, 2018). A3. Current Practice The current practices in healthcare systems to have hand hygiene compliance and to control infections are focused on sanitizing healthcare workers’ hands in their daily practices. The dominant means of carrying out hand hygiene currently in use is the alcohol hand rub and handwashing to eliminate bacterial infections through bare hands. Hand washing has been recommended to be done by healthcare workers as they arrive and leave work, during contact with different patients, after handling hospital equipment and before performing delicate

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