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  • Top picks: Six resources about hand hygiene

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    Good hand hygiene in healthcare is essential to reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections (HAIs), which are the most frequent adverse event in healthcare globally. Although progress has been made in improving hand hygiene, there is still a pressing need to give healthcare professionals around the world the necessary knowledge and facilities to achieve effective infection control. The latest World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that globally, half of healthcare facilities do not have basic hand hygiene services, one in five facilities have no water services and one in ten have no sanitation services.


    We've pulled together six useful resources about hand hygiene that have been shared on the hub. They include advice on effective handwashing, resources for healthcare professionals on how to promote hand hygiene and a global tool for monitoring hand hygiene interventions.

    1.  Scientia potentia est—Why sharing knowledge about hand hygiene remains important

    In this blog, hub topic leader Julie Storr looks at the question of why it's still so important to share knowledge about hand hygiene. She highlights the power of sharing knowledge to save lives, the need to address research gaps and that hand hygiene should be integrated into all aspects of frontline care.  She also shares tools and resources that can be used to help train and equip frontline healthcare professionals.

    2. WHO: Your 5 moments for hand hygiene

    This poster summarises WHO’s ‘Five moments for hand hygiene’ model, which WHO released in 2006 in collaboration with the infection prevention and control (IPC) research group at the University of Geneva. The approach aims to facilitate behavioural change and prioritise hand hygiene action at the right time to prevent infection transmission and avoid harm to patients and healthcare workers during care delivery.

    3. Hand hygiene acceleration framework tool

    The Hand Hygiene Acceleration Framework Tool (HHAFT) has been developed by The Global Handwashing Partnership. It tracks the process that governments have taken to develop and implement a plan of action for hand hygiene improvement, and assesses the quality of that plan. It helps identify barriers, opportunities and priority actions for accelerating progress towards hand hygiene and drive investment to these plans. Use of this common framework allows countries to share learning and helps direct and coordinate global action. The webpage includes a dashboard that presents the latest data from different countries.

    4. Supporting you to talk about hand hygiene: A primer for those in health care

    As a champion for hand hygiene, feeling empowered to talk about the topic to a range of colleagues is important. WHO has collated a number of hand hygiene improvement tools to help anyone working in healthcare promote good hand hygiene within their organisation.

    5. Video: How to wash your hands

    Patients can contribute to infection prevention and control by making sure they wash their hands effectively—it’s one of the easiest and most important ways for patients to protect themselves and others from infectious illnesses. This NHS video demonstrates the best way to wash your hands and describes when you should do it.

    6. WHO global taskforce on WASH in health care facilities: synthesis 2022-2023

    The Global Taskforce on WASH in healthcare facilities aims to provide global strategic direction and coordination to WHO and UNICEF, and to promote information sharing and dialogue. It evolved from a series of think tanks convened by WHO. This webpage links to a summary of their work in 2022-23.

    Health Education for Scotland - Hand hygiene learning resources

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