Key Takeaways

  • Hand hygiene is the single most effective technique to reduce the transmission of infections and to prevent healthcare-associated infections.

  • Use hand hygiene during the four moments of hand hygiene.

  • Instruct and support clients and their visitors on the importance of hand hygiene and ways to incorporate hand hygiene routines into everyday practice.

  • ABHR is the preferred method of hand hygiene when hands are not visibly soiled or contraindicated according to the client’s diagnosis (i.e., C. difficile, norovirus, or Bacillus anthracis).

  • ABHR requires less time, is easy to use, and has high levels of availability at the point of care.

  • ABHR should have 70–90% alcohol concentration in the healthcare setting. 

  • When washing hands, lather and scrub with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds to remove transient flora and bacteria.

  • Always use soap and water if hands are exposed to blood, body fluids or other body substances. 


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Introduction to Infection Prevention and Control Practices for the Interprofessional Learner Copyright © by Michelle Hughes; Audrey Kenmir; Oona St-Amant; Caitlin Cosgrove; and Grace Sharpe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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