In the current age of high technology, rapid advancements, and designer drugs, it may seem surprising to some to realize that one of the most important tools when it comes to patient safety in the medical field in Illinois continues to be proper hand washing. Studies show that effectively washing your hands can significantly reduce the numbers of germs and bacteria on them, preventing the spread of these infection-causing agents and improving the health conditions of those around you.
Medical settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, urgent cares, and doctor’s offices, tend to be rife with germs. Sick patients continue to enter these settings and leave their germs behind, enabling others and even those who arrive after sick patients to become ill. Commonly touched surfaces like door handles, drinking fountains, pens, and countertops are some areas where gems are known to linger and to spread from patient to patient, quickly enabling a massive number of individuals to fall ill.
There are two primary types of people who spread germs in medical settings: patients and employees. Patients often have less of an ability to wash their hands and remain germ-free as their access to sinks may be limited and as an ongoing condition may leave them covered in germs regardless. Employees, including physicians, nurses, receptionists, and custodial staff, have more access to sanitary options for hand washing and also have a greater need to wash their hands frequently. Though patients are likely to be confined to one room or one limited area, employees are more apt to move from room-to-room, interacting with a greater number of patients and therefore allowing them to cause a greater germ spread if their hands are dirty.