Hand Hygiene

The power to stay healthy is in your hands. Literally. 

Keeping your hands clean is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection. However, not many people wash their hands as often as they should, but IHA is trying to change that. Remember to wash your hands before eating, while preparing food, after using the restroom, after coughing, sneezing or caring for someone who is ill, after taking out the garbage, after petting animals, before or after touching your contacts and before taking care of a cut for yourself or another. Practice the best hand washing techniques by following these tips: 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Sing “Happy Birthday” twice to know you’ve washed long enough
  • Cover all of your hand area with soap, including fingers, wrists, fingernails and back of the hand 
  • If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub 
Generic-PageImage-Large.pngPartnering with AHA during Hand Hygiene Awareness Week 

From December 4 – 10, 2016, both National Influenza Vaccination Week and Hand Hygiene Awareness Week, IHA partnered with AHA on their United Against the Flu Campaign and to promote Hand Hygiene Awareness Week. We gave out fact sheets and social media messaging for members to distribute to the communities they serve. 

According to the CDC, approximately 970,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu in 2014, and more than 40 million were affected by flu-related illnesses. Many of them could have prevented the spread of the flu by practicing proper hand hygiene. 

We hope to continue our partnership with the AHA in the future to prevent the spread of the flu and promote the spread of hand hygiene. 

Toolkit and Additional Resources 

In addition to our work with AHA, IHA partnered with the Indiana Chapter of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) to develop a hand hygiene measurement toolkit for use in Indiana health care facilities. The toolkit was created to help hospitals promote consistency in the methods used for hand hygiene observation and tracking.  Download the hand hygiene toolkit