Hand Hygiene Guidance
The Core Infection Prevention and Control Practices for Safe Care Delivery in All Healthcare Settings recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) include the following strong recommendations for hand hygiene in healthcare settings.
Healthcare personnel should use an alcohol-based hand rub or wash with soap and water for the following clinical indications:
- Immediately before touching a patient
- Before performing an aseptic task (e.g., placing an indwelling device) or handling invasive medical devices
- Before moving from work on a soiled body site to a clean body site on the same patient
- After touching a patient or the patient’s immediate environment
- After contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces
- Immediately after glove removal
Healthcare facilities should:
- Require healthcare personnel to perform hand hygiene in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations
- Ensure that healthcare personnel perform hand hygiene with soap and water when hands are visibly soiled
- Ensure that supplies necessary for adherence to hand hygiene are readily accessible in all areas where patient care is being delivered
Unless hands are visibly soiled, an alcohol-based hand rub is preferred over soap and water in most clinical situations due to evidence of better compliance compared to soap and water. Hand rubs are generally less irritating to hands and, in the absence of a sink, are an effective method of cleaning hands.
Core slides and accompanying speaker notes provide an overview of the Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings published in 2002.
- Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings-Core Slides [PDF – 132 KB]
- Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings-Core Slides [PPT – 385 KB]
Supplement slides provide additional slides that may be used in conjunction with the core slide set.