In this section :

Proper Hand Hygiene Technique in Healthcare


  • Healthcare-associated infections, or infections acquired in healthcare settings, are the most frequent adverse event in healthcare delivery worldwide.1  
  • Hands are the most common means of microbial spread in healthcare. 2 
  • Optimal hand hygiene is one of the most effective measures to reduce the occurrence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).   


There are some key moments for hand hygiene: 

  1. Before patient/patient environment contact   
  2. Before aseptic procedure   
  3. After body fluid exposure risk   
  4. After patient/patient environment contact   


  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that hand hygiene should be performed at the point of care.   


  • Clean your hands by rubbing them with an alcohol-based formulation when available.
  • Alcohol-based hand rubs are faster, more effective, and better tolerated by your hands than washing with soap and water.  
  • Wash your hands with soap and water only when hands are visibly soiled and whenever an alcohol-based formulation if not available.2
  • Washing hands with soap and water immediately before or after using an alcohol-based hand rub is not recommended as this may predispose the individual to developing contact dermatitis.2   
  • If isolation precautions are in place, always adhere to the hand hygiene directions appropriate to those precautions. Never default to hand rubs where isolation precautions are in place unless the precautions specify that this is acceptable.     
  • The act of thorough and vigorous drying is an important measure that helps to eliminate pathogens from your hands.   

For more information, go to:   

1 World Health Organization (WHO). n.d. Healthcare-Associated Infections Fact Sheet. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
2 WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (Updated 2009)