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Clean Hands Counts

CDC launches new Clean Hands Count campaign to promote hand hygiene

chc-final-250x327May 5th is World Hand Hygiene Day and CDC’s Hand Hygiene Saves Lives campaign is urging healthcare providers, patients, and patients’ loved ones to clean their hands to prevent healthcare-associated infections and improve health. CDC urges healthcare provider adherence to CDC hand hygiene recommendations by addressing some of the myths and misperceptions about hand hygiene.

The science is clear: clean hands protect patients from life-threatening infections! All healthcare providers should follow good hand hygiene practices, such as cleaning their hands before and after every patient contact. Dirty hands are a contributing factor in the spread of healthcare-associated infections that affect 1 in 25 hospital patients on any given day.

Despite the success in achieving 100% compliance with hand hygiene in many healthcare organizations, studies show that some healthcare providers perform hand hygiene less than half the time they should. So our work in not done yet.

Patients must also be taught to when to wash their hands to protect themselves from serious infections. Patients can also help by reminding their providers to wash their hands. So, in addition to teaching patients how to protect themselves, this initiative also encourages patients and their loved ones to not be hesitant but to speak up and ask their healthcare team to clean their hands if they don’t see them do so before providing care.

CDC’s new campaign uses dramatic images and messages to catch doctors’ and nurses’ attention, dispel myths about hand hygiene, and empower patients to advocate for clean hands. Visit the CDC website at to partner with Clean Hands Campaign and find posters, fact sheets, infographics, brochures, science behind hand hygiene, FDA update and more campaign information.