OSF Saint Anthony's Health Center

Alton, Illinois

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to reduce health care associated infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, proper hand hygiene by health care providers is proven to significantly decrease the spread of infection and outbreaks of MRSA.

Simply put, clean hands save lives.

A Focus on Hand Hygiene

Mission Partners at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center consider hand hygiene an integral part of the quality and safety culture – hand hygiene is one of the simplest ways to prevent infection.

Hand Hygiene awareness at OSF Saint Anthony’s focuses on the importance of foaming in and foaming out with an alcohol-based handrub when hands are not visibly soiled.

Foam dispensers are located in patient rooms, in hallways and common areas. We highly encourage family members and friends to ‘foam in’ and ‘foam out’ when visiting patients – to protect patients as well as visitors themselves.

OSF Saint Anthony’s Mission Partners use soap and water when hands are visibly dirty, contaminated or soiled, according to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Compliance to OSF Saint Anthony’s hand hygiene policies is expected and strictly enforced with Mission Partners.

You will see clinicians wash their hands before patient contact, before donning gloves when inserting devices (such as urinary catheters), after contact with a patient’s intact skin, after contact with bodily fluids or excretions, non-intact skin or wound dressing, or after removing gloves.

As part of the focus on hand hygiene, OSF Saint Anthony’s has displayed posters throughout the facility.  While walking through our halls, you will notice our hand hygiene posters with the message: “Give germs the rub. Hand hygiene is one of the simplest ways to prevent infection.”

Mission Partners also are provided with regular education to continue learning appropriate infection prevention and control practices.

Technique for Using Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

  • Put product on hands and rub together
  • Cover all surfaces until hands are dry
  • This should take around 20 seconds

Techniques for Washing Hands with Soap and Water

CDC guidelines for hand hygiene in a health care setting:

  • Wet hands first with water, apply the amount of product recommended by the manufacturer to hands, rub hands together vigorously for 15-20 seconds, covering all surfaces of the hands and fingers.
  • Rinse hands with water and use disposable towels to dry. Use towel to turn off the faucet.
  • Avoid using hot water to prevent drying of skin.

Our Pledge

The Mission Partners at OSF Saint Anthony’s are committed to providing quality care to patients in a safe environment by following proper hand hygiene principles.