What is Hand Hygiene?

Effective Hand Hygiene is the single most effective action to reduce health care associated infections.

Hand Hygiene 

Is a general term referring to any action of hand cleansing. 

Hand hygiene includes:
  • Applying an alcohol-based handrub to the surface of hands (including liquids, gels and foams) 
  • Washing hands with the use of a water and soap or a soap solution, either non-antimicrobial or antimicrobial.

When performed correctly, hand hygiene results in a reduction of microorganisms on hands.


Indications for Hand Hygiene

Use an alcohol based hand rub for all clinical situations where hands are visibly clean.

Wash with soap and water when visibly dirty or contaminated with proteinaceous material, or visibly soiled with blood or other body fluids, or if exposure to potential spore forming organisms is strongly suspected or proven, or after using the bathroom.


How Do I Hand Hygiene?

The WHO have developed posters on How to Hand Rub and How to Handwash.  Click on either poster to view full size version.


'Based on the 'How to HandWash Poster ' © World Health Organization 2009. All rights reserved, and the 'How to HandRub Poster' © World Health Organization 2009. All rights reserved.'