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Patient Safety Awareness Week Pearl!

Authored by Dr. Will Sawyer - Founder, Henry the Hand Foundation

1 in 4 seniors have superbugs on their hands after a hospital stay

I thought it appropriate to share the impact of poor hand hygiene resulting in HAIs, in hospitals. And a brief inclusion of other non-HAI Hand Hygiene issues in every community; Norovirus, seasonal respiratory infections, epidemics (pertussis, mumps, measles, etc.), Lead ingestion, Foodborne infections and many more.

A very recent research project by Lona Mody, M.D., M.Sc. Dr. Mody is the Associate Chief for Clinical and Translational Research at the U-M Geriatrics Center and a research scientist at the Ann Arbor VA Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center. Thank you to the University of Michigan Health System for the link below:

http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201603/1-4-seniors-have-superbugs-their-hands-after-hospital-stay

We live in an era where infectious diseases cause so much morbidity and mortality, perhaps we should be more intentional about training people at much younger ages, so they are prepared with this life skill prior to choosing their career path and will protect themselves when a patient in the hospital?

So, who should take the responsibility to teach/train children and adults? Family, daycare, Head Start, school, personal physician, local health dept, HHS, CDC, community foundation initiatives, health professional schools (med, nursing, PA, EMT, dental), employers (hospital, LTCs, medical/dental offices) or consumer products corporations? 

Foot note: 2009-2010 H1N1 Pandemic year was an exceptionally heathy year for the US when measuring number of school closings, absenteeism from work, productivity, "big box" stores did not sell much cold and flu medications that year, nor could they keep soap, sanitizer, wipes and paper towels in stock on their shelves! Imagine the health benefit replicating that pattern year after year. And having trained the skill of hand hygiene awareness for all those who enter careers in health, education, food service, public health, mission work, disaster recovery and more.

Please share this with those you know who can help "make a difference"!