In the United States, about 1 in every 20 hospital patients gets an infection, or nearly 2 million infections each year. 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.
Patients and their loved ones can play a role in helping to prevent infections by practicing hand hygiene themselves as well as asking or reminding their healthcare providers to perform hand hygiene.
Hand Hygiene (CDC)
There is often confusion about the need for hand hygiene when using gloves. Hand hygiene should be performed:
1) Before patient contact, even if gloves are worn;
2) When gloves are changed during patient contact;
3) After patient contact and removing gloves.
Gloves are NOT a substitute for hand hygiene.
To help raise awareness about the importance of performing hand hygiene before and after using gloves, a team of representatives from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado Hospital Association, and Colorado Foundation for Medical Care worked together to develop a variety of educational materials targeting healthcare workers in all settings.