This week, I invite you to join me in recognizing one of the most effective, yet often overlooked, methods of preventing the spread of germs – handwashing. National Handwashing Awareness Week (Dec. 2 – 8) is a good time to revisit handwashing and how it can impact Washington patients and staff.
Handwashing is especially essential for health care professionals. Of critical importance, handwashing keeps health care professionals from spreading germs to patients. But do your staff also understand that handwashing shields them from contracting illnesses from patients? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care providers clean their hands less than half of the times they should, exposing themselves and their patients to harm.
Together, we can work toward increasing understanding of the importance of handwashing throughout our state. This will advance our shared mission to improve health outcomes in Washington communities. Please spread awareness throughout your organizations about National Handwashing Awareness Week. The CDC has some great Handwashing Best Practices specifically for health care providers.
I believe that Washington hospitals and health care centers can set the standard for safe and clean medical services. In my work with WSHA, I am continually impressed by the level of dedication and care that our members provide to Washington patients. But we also need to maintain a focus on foundational infection prevention.
WSHA President & CEO