Improved adherence to hand hygiene (i.e. hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand rubs) has been shown to terminate outbreaks in health care facilities, to reduce transmission of antimicrobial resistant organisms (e.g. methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) and reduce overall infection rates. Handwashing with soap and water remains a sensible strategy for hand hygiene is recommended by CDC and other experts when hands are visibly soiled. In addition to traditional handwashing with soap and water, CDC is recommending the use of alcohol-based hand rubs by health care personnel for patient care because they address some of the obstacles that health care professionals face when taking care of patients.
Page last updated: June 24, 2015
Page last reviewed: June 16, 2015