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In an effort to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), Kimberly-Clark Health Care has provided a grant to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to sponsor the Hand Hygiene Saves Lives Campaign, a program designed to educate hospital patients, their visitors and medical professionals about the importance of practicing hand hygiene. The program empowers patients and visitors to ensure hand hygiene protocols are followed by hospital staff.
“One of the best ways to stop the spread of germs is for patients, visitors and healthcare workers to practice good hand hygiene by washing or decontaminating their hands,” said Lynne Kelley, MD, vice president and senior medical director of Kimberly-Clark Health Care. “Patients and visitors should not only be diligent with their own hand hygiene, but they also need to play an active role in reminding all healthcare workers including physicians and nurses to wash their hands before administering care.”
The Hand Hygiene Saves Lives Campaign includes an admission video that educates patients about healthcare-associated infections and how infections can be prevented throughout their stay. The video features scenarios of patients requesting that visitors and healthcare workers wash their hands, which assures the patient that such requests are appropriate. The information in the video is supplemented with posters and brochures for patients, visitors and physicians, which provide guidelines for proper handwashing and hand-rubbing techniques and explain when hand hygiene should be performed.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common mode of disease transmission is the transfer of germs by contaminated hands. WHO estimates that thousands of people die every day from healthcare-associated infections, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia, bloodstream and surgical-site infections.
As a partner in infection prevention, Kimberly-Clark Health Care is committed to working with hospitals and healthcare organizations to stop the spread of healthcare-associated infections. In addition to sponsoring the efforts of the CDC Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Health Care has developed the Not on My Watch Campaign, www.haiwatch.com, to further educate healthcare professionals about prevention and patient safety issues.
“Healthcare-associated infections represent a global healthcare crisis,” said John Amat, vice president of global sales and marketing at Kimberly-Clark Health Care. “Saving lives requires commitment and collaboration across the entire continuum of care, and we are proud to support the CDC Foundation’s efforts.”
To learn more about the Hand Hygiene Saves Lives Campaign and the importance of hand hygiene in infection prevention and to watch the Hand Hygiene Saves Lives video, visit http://www.haiwatch.com or www.cdc.gov/Handhygiene/.