Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector

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Practice Issue

The current practice issue is concerned with the need to exhibit compliance with the handwashing hygiene regimen among healthcare providers, patients, and the family visiting patients. Effective hand hygiene is a fundamental step in preventing the spreading of communicable bacteria and viruses that may cause flu, colds, and other infections among personnel, visitors, and patients (Engdaw et al., 2019). It is essential to study the practice issue in detail to understand its effects, significance to healthcare practice and find solutions.

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The hospital setting applies to the current practice issue because facilities usually experience large numbers of visitors, patients, and personnel every day. From elevator buttons to waiting rooms, there is extensive exposure of individuals to viruses that can cause issues ranging from minor colds to COVID-19 (Nazario, 2021). Because hospitals are areas of increased exposure where patients come to get treated for their diseases, it is imperative to guarantee compliance with hygiene regimens to prevent the spreading of diseases.


Hand hygiene is crucial for preventing infections in a hospital setting. However, studies have shown that, on average, healthcare providers wash their hands or clean them with sanitizer less than half of the times they are recommended (CDC, 2020). As a result, poor healthcare provider hygiene contributes to infections that impact one in thirty-one hospital patients a day (CDC, 2020). Nevertheless, the lack of compliance with hand hygiene practices presents a significant problem for healthcare practitioners (Ahmed et al., 2020). This suggests that further education and regulations of hand hygiene are needed, including the critical role of handwashing as combined with the value of alcohol-based hand rubs (Pittet, 2017). Apart from targeting practitioners, it is imperative to provide education to patients and visitors/families who are also exposed to the bacteria-ridden environments of hospitals.

Effects of the Issue

The failure of providers, patients, and visitors to comply with a hand hygiene protocol impedes the delivery of safe healthcare services and increases the occurrence of healthcare-associated infections (HCAI). Besides, the lack of hygiene results in the spreading of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which prolong recovery time and time spent on hospital stays, resulting in disability, increased costs of medical care, as well as life-threatening risks for patients (Global Handwashing Partnership, 2017). Therefore, limited awareness of the importance of hand hygiene fosters environments conducive to the spread of infections, which points to the adverse effects not only for individuals but for healthcare practice in general.

Significance of the Topic

The issue is particularly significant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as handwashing regimens can reduce the spreading of the virus. Because the disease presents severe complications for specific groups of patients, it is imperative to reduce its spreading to avoid hospital patients from getting it in addition to their diagnoses or ensure that patients do not transfer COVID-19 to visitors or healthcare providers (Moore et al., 2021). Precise and efficient instructions within a handwashing regimen can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Proposed Solution

It is necessary to facilitate compliance with handwashing guidelines through educating and training providers, patients, and hospital visitors. Notably, the solution involves a multimodal intervention that combines education, performance feedback, visual cues (e.g., signs and reminders), and personnel training (Gould et al., 2017). Besides, it is imperative to implement accountability measures to ensure adherence to the proposed handwashing strategies and regimens.


Ahmed, J., Malik, F., Memon, Z. A., Bin Arif, T., Ali, A., Nasim, S., Ahmad, J., & Khan, M. A. (2020). Compliance and knowledge of healthcare workers regarding hand hygiene and use of disinfectants: A study based in Karachi. Cureus, 12(2), e7036. Web.

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CDC. (2020). Clean hands count for safe healthcare. Web.

Engdaw, G. T., Gebrehiwot, M., & Andualem, Z. (2019). Hand hygiene compliance and associated factors among health care providers in Central Gondar zone public primary hospitals, Northwest Ethiopia. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, 8(190). Web.

Global Handwashing Partnership. (2017). Fact sheet: Hand hygiene in healthcare facilities. Web.

Gould, D. J., Moralejo, D., Drey, N., Chudleigh, J. H., & Taljaard, M. (2017). Interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance in patient care. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 9(9), CD005186. Web.

Moore, L. D., Robbins, G., Quinn, J., & Arbogast, J. W. (2021). The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on hand hygiene performance in hospitals. American Journal of Infection Control, 49(1), 30–33. Web.

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Nazario, B. (2021). Germiest things in hospitals and doctor’s offices. Web.

Pittet, D. (2017). Hand hygiene: From research to action. Journal of Infection Prevention, 18(3), 100–102. Web.

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NursingBird. (2022, October 21). Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector. Retrieved from https://nursingbird.com/handwashing-guidelines-in-healthcare-sector/


NursingBird. (2022, October 21). Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector. https://nursingbird.com/handwashing-guidelines-in-healthcare-sector/

Work Cited

"Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector." NursingBird, 21 Oct. 2022, nursingbird.com/handwashing-guidelines-in-healthcare-sector/.


NursingBird. (2022) 'Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector'. 21 October.


NursingBird. 2022. "Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector." October 21, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/handwashing-guidelines-in-healthcare-sector/.

1. NursingBird. "Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector." October 21, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/handwashing-guidelines-in-healthcare-sector/.


NursingBird. "Handwashing Guidelines in Healthcare Sector." October 21, 2022. https://nursingbird.com/handwashing-guidelines-in-healthcare-sector/.