Make Them Wash Their Hands!

washing hands.More than 150 years after the discovery of the germ theory, we are still harping on the directive your mother always screamed at you to do – “wash your hands!” The following Wall Street Journal article, “Why Hospitals Want Patients to Ask Doctors, 'Have You Washed Your Hands?'”, reports on a new effort to urge patients to demand hand washing of their healthcare workers. Even after all the time spent on the subject in various training programs and the volumes written on the subject, the CDC says that the lack of hand hygiene is responsible for 100,000 deaths per year. A growing pool of infections resistant to antibiotics has propelled hospitals to find new ways to enforce hand washing policies. Latest is tasking patients with the responsibility of asking anyone who comes to care for them: doctor; nurse, or aide, whether they have washed their hands if they have not seen them do it personally. Though hospitals and care facilities believe that they have found a new avenue of enforcement, patients are still loath to possibly upset anyone who is caring for them while they are in a compromised state. The great push must still come from the top down and David York Agency pushes this idea at each and every in-service and interaction with our aides. For more information, go to www.davidyorkagency.com or call 718.376.7755.