Affinity Health Services, Inc. Title of Policy: Handwashing/Hand

Affinity Health Services, Inc.
Total Pages: 2
Approved by: MES
Title of Policy: Handwashing/Hand Hygiene
Location of Policy: Infection Control Manual
Prepared by: CWM
Effective Date: January 2006
Revision Dates: May 2006; Revised November 2007
Policy Statement
Hand hygiene has been cited frequently as the single most important practice to reduce the
transmission of infectious agents in healthcare settings and is an essential element of Standard
The term “handwashing” refers to washing hands with plain soap and water (non antimicrobial)
The term “hand hygiene” includes both hand washing with either plain or antiseptic-containing
soap and water, and use of alcohol-based products (gels, rinses, foams) that do not require the use
of water. In the absence of visible soiling of hands, approved alcohol based products for hand
disinfection are preferred over antimicrobial or plain soap and water because of their superior
microbiocidal activity, reduced drying of the skin, and convenience.
The facility requires staff to wash their hands or use hand sanitizing solution after each direct
resident contact for which handwashing is indicated by accepted professional practice standards.
The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidelines to employees for proper and appropriate
hand washing and hygiene techniques that will aid in the prevention of the transmission of
To prevent and to control the spread of infectious diseases.
General Handwashing Guidelines
Policy Interpretation and Implementation
Appropriate ten (10) to fifteen (15) second handwashing with antimicrobial and water
must be performed under the following conditions:
When hands are visibly dirty or soiled with blood or other body fluids;
After contact with blood, body fluids, secretions, mucous membranes, or non-intact skin;
After handling items potentially contaminated with blood, body fluids, or secretions;
Before eating;
After using a restroom
The use of gloves does not replace handwashing.
If hands are not visibly soiled, the use of an alcohol-based hand cleaner may be used
for the following situations:
a. Before direct contact with residents
b. Before donning sterile gloves
c. Before performing any non-surgical invasive procedure
d. Before preparing or handling medications
e. Before handling clean or soiled dressings, gauze pads, etc.
f. Before moving from a contaminated body site to a clean body site during
resident care.
g. After contact with a resident’s intact skin
h. After handling used dressings, contaminated equipment, etc.
i. After contact with inanimate objects in the immediate vicinity of the
resident; and/or
j. Between glove changes during a same resident task
k. After removing gloves
Affinity Health Services, Inc.
Infection Control Manual 2006
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Handwashing / Hand Hygiene
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of times alcohol-based hand
cleaner may be used between hand washing with soap and water.
Hand Hygiene must be performed before and after resident care and procedure(s).
Equipment and Supplies
The following equipment and supplies will be necessary when performing this procedure:
1. running water
2. antimicrobial soap
3. paper towels
4. trash can
5. alcohol-based hand gel
Hand washing Procedure
Hand Sanitizer Procedure
Skin Care
Turn the sink water on to a comfortable temperature.
Wet hands under running water and apply soap to a vigorous lather by rubbing hands
together, creating friction to all surfaces, for a minimum of ten (10) to fifteen (15)
Rinse hands thoroughly under running water allowing water to flow towards fingertips by
holding hands lower than wrists. Do not touch fingertips to the inside of the sink.
Dry hands thoroughly with paper towels.
Turn off faucets with paper towels.
Dispose of paper towels in trash can.
Apply alcohol-based product to palm of hand rub hands together.
Cover all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.
Follow manufacturer’s directions for volume of product to use.
Follow manufacturer’s directions for number of acceptable uses between handwashing
with running water and soap.
Routinely washing hands with soap and water immediately after using an alcohol
based hand rub may lead to dermatitis.
HCW’s should report if they develop any hand skin irritation from latex gloves, soaps,
or hand gels / rubs used in the facility.
Routine daily use of hand lotion or crèmes is proven to reduce the occurrence of skin
Provide for efficacious hand-hygiene products that have low irritancy potential.
Do no add soap to a partially empty soap dispenser (“topping off”) as this may lead to
bacterial contamination of the soap.
Affinity Health Services, Inc.
Infection Control Manual 2006
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Handwashing / Hand Hygiene