CHARLESTON, – We all know that we should wash our hands – often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), keeping your hands clean is one of the most important ways to avoid illness and spreading germs to others.
While it’s important for all of us in our everyday lives to wash our hands, it becomes imperative that health care workers – who may come in contact with dozens of patients each day – wash as well.
The CDC reports that, in the United States, hospital patients get nearly 2 million infections each year. That’s about 1 infection for every 20 patients. Infections that patients get in the hospital can be life-threatening and hard to treat. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections.
As part of its initiative to improve the quality of health care in the state, the West Virginia Medical Institute (WVMI) works with nursing homes and hospitals to reduce healthcare-acquired infections.
“Handwashing is one of the best practices that WVMI promotes to health care providers across the state,” said Beckey Cochran, WVMI Health Care Quality Improvement Director. “We offer tools and training to support providers in their efforts to protect their patients’ health. Handwashing is the primary tool in our fight against germs and infection.”
For more information, WVMI’s Web site offers resources on handwashing and other preventive practices.