Are we sending the wrong message when we ask health care workers to wash their hands?

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When asking healthcare workers to wash their hands, perhaps a better message would be to ask them not to transmit diseases. This changes the emphasis from a single act of adherence to a concept of behavior change. Proper hand hygiene, proper use of personal protective equipment, and cough etiquette are the means to an end, to stop the transfer to organisms and disease, but not the ultimate goal itself. The ultimate goal is to stop the transmission of diseases and ultimately to decrease the occurrence of healthcare associated infections.

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