The WHO’s 5 Moments for Handwashing

The WHO designed the "5 moments for handwashing" in an effort to diminish the risk of infection inside the healthcare system.

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Washing hands with soap and water is imperative in the fight against contagious diseases. The healthcare system is seemingly the most equipped to deal with infections, but that is not always the case. Stress and overcrowding of hospitals can lead healthcare personnel to overlook washing their hands. Since hospitals are naturally filled with the sick, symptomatic carriers, healthcare workers must wash their hands properly and effectively at key times in order to avoid contracting and passing on illnesses.

The WHO designed the “5 moments for handwashing” in an effort to diminish the risk of infection inside the healthcare system. The healthcare worker themselves, the patient, and the environment can each pass on dangerous germs and viruses. The 5 moments for handwashing are meant to remind healthcare workers when they should wash their hands in order to prevent infections.

Here are the WHO’s 5 moments for handwashing:

  1. before touching a patient,
  2. before clean/aseptic procedures,
  3. after body fluid exposure/risk,
  4. after touching a patient,
  5. after touching patient surroundings.

In a recent article, we explained the chain of infection. Here it can be seen broken at every link – by washing hands. Healthcare workers are instructed to wash hands after touching the potential carrier of the pathogen and also before exposing themselves as a potential carrier to a patient, after contacting body fluids that might contain the pathogen, and also after touching the environment of the patient which might hold pathogens. Handwashing can help healthcare workers avoid contracting an infectious disease, with soap dissolving many virus’ structure.

Soapy and Healthcare Hand Hygiene

Soapy offers a unique solution – the CleanMachine. The CleanMachine dispenses the correct amount of soap and water needed for a thorough wash while highlighting problem areas on the skin. This ensures a perfect wash cycle every time.

 The CleanMachine also has a facial recognition feature, storing relevant hand hygiene data on the Soapy Wisdom platform. There, managers can recognize hand hygiene trends in their facilities and utilize the information for bettering the infection prevention programs.

The WHO’s 5 moments for handwashing would be much easier to follow if every healthcare worker had access to the CleanMachine. The smart handwashing machine works automatically when its sensors detect hands, eliminating cross-contamination problems. The CleanMachine is extremely time-efficient, counting the seconds needed for a thorough wash for the worker and lighting a green light when done. If you want to learn more about the CleanMachine, you can contact us here.

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