“Wash your hands. Wash for at least 20 seconds. Do it often.” How many times have we heard this advice from epidemiologists since the covid-19 pandemic began? That’s because since the 19th century hand-washing has been at the heart of efforts to prevent and contain infections.
Medical staff have been required to do this for many years, but the reality of health care practice means that it doesn’t always happen. Today we’re all encouraged to do it, but for more than 20 years, Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education and Advocacy has been teaching individuals how to insist — respectfully but firmly — that clinicians wash their hands in the patient’s presence, even if they claim they did it just before entering the room. In today’s crisis, it’s more important than ever before.
Now, Step 4!
Now Pulse’s message has become Step 4 of the TakeCHARGE Campaign: 5 Steps to Safer Health Care. The campaign encourages everyone to take five steps, over five months, that will help lead to safer health care for all. Learn more about Step 4 here, including videos on how to talk to your doctor about hand-washing, and how to wash hands properly.
According to campaign co-director and Pulse President Ilene Corina, “Most people will perform better when they think they’re being observed or assessed, that’s only natural . . . That means it’s up to us — patients, their families, and professional patient advocates — to keep up the vigilance. When we can demonstrate to healthcare staff that we know about the risks to patients and the measures that can reduce those risks, we may help reduce the death rates too.”
People for Patient Safety
The Step 4 infection prevention message will get another boost on Monday, July 12, 2021 at 7:00 PM, at the online forum People for Patient Safety where Maryanne McGuckin, Dr. ScEd., FSHEA, will talk about “Infection Prevention: Beyond Handwashing”. (Registration required.)