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Hand hygiene

Why is hand hygiene so important?

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are a threat to patient safety. They can affect patients in all healthcare settings and hereby contributing to morbidity and mortality and cost of care. Multiple factors contribute to the risk of HAI including ageing population, complexity of therapies and emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. HAI can be caused by endogenous or exogenous infectious agents, with the hands known to be the most common transmission route.

Hand hygiene is known to be able to prevent and control HAIs. Any healthcare worker, caregiver or person involved in direct or indirect patient care needs to be concerned about hand hygiene and should be able to perform it correctly at the right time.


HAIs are estimated to occur in acute care hospitals in Europe annually.


deaths is the anual mortality due to HAI in Europe.

Up to


is the annual economic burden on HAIs in acute care hospitals in Europe.


deaths is the anual mortality in Europe where HAI had contributed to death.

More than


of HAIs can be avoided by disrupting infection transfer through touching hands with environmental cleaning programs.

Studies show a positive correlation between hand hygiene compliance improvement and a decrease in multidrug resistant organisms.(1) Animicrobial resistance is a serious threat to public health in Europe.

Hand care

What can make hands dry and which measures can help to keep your hands in good conditions


Hands are high precious instruments that are placed under immense pressure every single day. The Skin has the ability to renew itself, however can breakdown and become damaged by environmental aggressors. Skin Care is now regarded as an important component of hand hygiene and also infection control as impaired skin integrity can deterioate skin resistance and compliance to hand hygiene. Both can lead to increase HAI to patients, but also pose a infection risk to you.


Effective prevention and care can help your hands to retain their natural moisture and thereby keep your hands in good condition. Five possible influencers on skin integrity have been suggested that can make your hands dry and irritated.

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Infection Prevention and Control


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1) WHO: "Evidence of hand hygiene to reduce transmission and infections by multidrug resistant organisms in health-care settings";  (accessed 01.02.2016)

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