Importance of Maintaining Hand Hygiene – What Are the Prerequisites?

Updated on May 3, 2022

Hand hygiene compliance rates may vary depending on different factors. These can include profession or the type of healthcare institution, but overall the rate is inadequate worldwide.

According to a study done in hospitals in Europe, America, and Asia, hand hygiene compliance rates ranged from 27% to 40%, with an average rate of 32%. 

Similarly, another study conducted by WHO showed that among healthcare workers in hospitals on 5 continents, only 35% were compliant with proper hand hygiene practices before patient contact and 7% after patient contact 2-3. 

What is Hand Hygiene?

Hand hygiene is a way of cleaning your hands and preventing the spread of disease. It involves cleaning hands for at least 20 seconds, either with soap and water or a hand sanitizer. Hand hygiene can get maintained with just these or in combination with an alcohol-based rub. It will keep you from getting sick and spreading germs to other people.

The most common types of hand hygiene are:

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (ABHS) contain at least 60% alcohol, which can help kill bacteria on your skin. The best time to use them is when you do not have access to soap and water (like when you are on the go). However, they should not get used as a replacement for good old-fashioned soap and water!

Soap and water hand washing involves washing your hands with soap and running warm water over them for 30 seconds or more, then drying them off with a clean towel. It is important to wash your hands often during the day.

Why Is It Important to Maintain Hand Hygiene?

Hand hygiene is a critical part of preventing infection and keeping yourself from getting sick at home or work and should be practiced by everyone, especially when practicing you-know-what in public restrooms (which is not good for anyone). It can help

  • To reduce the risk of spreading germs
  • To reduce the risk of getting sick
  • To reduce the risk of getting others sick
  • To reduce the risk of spreading antibiotic resistance

And you must learn how to wash your hands properly because if you do so incorrectly, it can increase your chances of becoming infected by germs! As a mom, I know the importance of having my children wash their hands after contacting any dirty or contaminated objects to prevent infection or illness.

Prevention of Germ Spread

Maintaining hand hygiene is vital to prevent the spread of germs. It can help prevent diseases and infections. Hand hygiene may sound complicated, but it is simple! Hand hygiene means cleaning your hands using soap or other solutions like hand sanitizer. 

Handwashing is an easy way to prevent infections. Many diseases and conditions occur due to germs that spread by touch. Germs may enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth and cause illness. Germs from unclean hands can enter meals and beverages while being prepared or consumed. Under certain conditions, germs can proliferate in specific foods or beverages and cause people to become ill. Always wash your hands before eating or handling food – it’s critical for avoiding food illness!

Germs from unwashed hands can get onto cutting boards, utensils, countertops, dishes, or towels when people prepare food on surfaces that come in contact with raw meat juices or other sources of germs (such as soiled hands). If these items do not remain clean after being used for preparing raw foods (especially meat), the germs can get transferred to other food items eaten raw. These foods can include salads, bread, etc., leading to food poisoning!

How to Maintain Good Hand Hygiene?

There are some steps you can take to maintain good hand hygiene:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitizer (if available).  
  • Keep your fingernails short.  
  • Don’t touch your face!  


Maintaining good hand hygiene is vital in reducing the number of germs that pass from one person to another. You can take steps to keep your hands germ-free by washing them with soap and water and using hand sanitizer when you are in a public space.

You can wash your hands often, after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after handling garbage. When using hand sanitizer, apply it directly to dry hands and rub them together until dry.

The CDC has published guidelines for maintaining hand hygiene in public places such as restaurants, grocery stores, and salons. They recommend avoiding touching commonly used surfaces like door handles and countertops. If you touch these surfaces, wash your hands afterward or use a paper towel as an intermediary.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.