Guideline Implementation: Hand Hygiene

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Abstract

Performing proper hand hygiene and surgical hand antisepsis is essential to reducing the rates of health care–associated infections, including surgical site infections. The updated AORN “Guideline for hand hygiene” provides guidance on hand hygiene and surgical hand antisepsis, the wearing of fingernail polish and artificial nails, proper skin care to prevent dermatitis, the wearing of jewelry, hand hygiene product selection, and quality assurance and performance improvement considerations. This article focuses on key points of the guideline to help perioperative personnel make informed decisions about hand hygiene and surgical hand antisepsis. The key points address the necessity of keeping fingernails and skin healthy, not wearing jewelry on the hands or wrists in the perioperative area, properly performing hand hygiene and surgical hand antisepsis, and involving patients and visitors in hand hygiene initiatives. Perioperative RNs should review the complete guideline for additional information and for guidance when writing and updating policies and procedures.

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