What’s New in the Patient Safety World

September 2015

APIC’s New Guide to Hand Hygiene Programs



APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology) has published its updated guide to hand hygiene (APIC 2015). The guide begins with an overview summarizing the scientific evidence for hand hygiene in infection control. It also lists hand hygiene elements required by regulatory and accrediting bodies. It has a good section on hand hygiene products, including details about both ingredients and formulations and also delivery systems. The section on monitoring hand hygiene compliance covers direct observation, measuring product usage, and newer electronic or hi-tech methods but also notes the importance of timing of the monitoring to actually impact compliance. But the best sections are those on implementing multimodal hand hygiene programs and changing culture. These include elements regarding access to hand hygiene products, workflow considerations, supply chain issues, role of management, leadership, integration with organizational goals, educational and training issues, and more. A whole section is dedicated to strategies for behavior change. The APIC guide is well referenced and includes links to many valuable resources and tools.


Sharp Healthcare has a new video on hand hygiene that is quite good. Links to some hand hygiene videos we’ve used in the past can be found in our May 24, 2011 Patient Safety Tip of the Week Hand Hygiene Resources”.


But our favorite video on HAI’s and hand washing is still the one done by the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Infection Control Team. This also sends a powerful message that is likely to be remembered. Its semi-animated format also introduces a bit of levity that makes this one an ideal video to be shown to patients and families as well.




Some of our other columns on handwashing:



January 5, 2010           How’s Your Hand Hygiene?

December 28, 2010     HAI’s: Looking In All The Wrong Places

May 24, 2011              Hand Hygiene Resources

October 2011              Another Unintended Consequence of Hand Hygiene Device?

March 2012                 Smile…You’re on Candid Camera

August 2012               Anesthesiology and Surgical Infections

October 2013              HAI’s: Costs, WHO Hand Hygiene, etc.

November 18, 2014    Handwashing Fades at End of Shift, ?Smartwatch to the Rescue

January 20, 2015         He Didn’t Wash His Hands After What!









APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology). Guide to Hand Hygiene Programs for Infection Prevention (2015).




Sharp HealthCare. "It's OK to Ask" (video)




Penn State Hershey Medical Center Infection Control Team/McGuckinMethodsIntl.

Healthcare Worker Hand Hygiene Educational Training Video.





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