Research Finds 23 Percent Of Hospitals Neglect Hand Sanitation
A new survey by the hospital watchdog organization The Leapfrog Group has found that 23 percent of hospitals across the country have not yet implemented safe hand sanitation practices. The study found that almost one-quarter of hospitals surveyed had not implemented policies capable of stopping the spread of potentially fatal bacteria.
The policies used as the benchmark in the study come from the Centers for Disease Control hand hygiene guidelines. Guidelines include suggestions such as washing hands before invasive procedures, after coming into contact with blood, bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces.
How Does Regular Handwashing Prevent Hospital-Acquired Infections?
Mandatory and proper handwashing could possibly limit the number of hospital-acquired infections, which affect 25 patients in America every day. In addition to having mandatory handwashing, the Leapfrog Group suggests mandatory hospital-wide education programs on hand sanitation, increasing accountability among hospital management, and documenting expenditures relating to hand-hygiene practices.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show that hospital-acquired infections kill 10 percent of those who catch them, making this lack of oversight potentially fatal for patients. A chief medical official associated with Castlight Health argued the contaminated hands of nurses, doctors, surgeons and other health care workers cause many hospital-acquired infections.
Hospitals have an obligation to ensure the safety of patients, and this requires a strong adherence to maintaining a sanitary environment. If the data gathered by the CDC and the results of the Leapfrog Group study are accurate, 23 percent of hospitals in the U.S. are seriously jeopardizing patient safety.
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