Arriving Patients to See New Hand Hygiene DVD

The life-saving benefits of hand hygiene are the subject of a new patient safety DVD developed by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Safe Care Campaign.

APIC says the DVD, which will be shown to patients on admission into the hospital, is modeled after the video airline passengers are required to view prior to takeoff on a flight. The goal of the campaign is to teach patients before admission to the hospital what they can do to help prevent the spread of infection and to encourage them to ask or remind their health care workers to practice hand hygiene.

"We are pleased that this resource is available to our members," said Janet E. Frain, APIC's 2008 President, RN, CIC, CPHQ, CPHRM, director, Integrated Services, Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif. "We hope that hospitals across the country use this valuable resource to educate their patients on the importance of hand hygiene and the need to take an active role in infection prevention."

The DVD begins with an introduction of health care-associated infections by Dr. John Jernigan, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC. It is then narrated by a nurse character named Gayle who talks about the importance of hand hygiene for both patients and workers. "Our objective in developing this DVD is to encourage patients to take a more active role in their care by practicing good hand hygiene during a hospital stay and by reminding others -- especially their health care providers -- to do the same," Jernigan said.

"Hand Hygiene Saves Lives" debuted at APIC's Annual Conference, which took place June 15-19 in Denver. Free copies were handed out to more than 2,500 infection prevention and control professionals. The DVD is available in English and Spanish with accompanying posters and brochures and can be downloaded from the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov/handhygiene. For additional information, visit www.apic.org.

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