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5 May 2017

The CDC’s new strategy to get doctors and nurses to clean their hands

Public-health agency uses knowledge-sharing network to engage healthcare providers about an age-old — but often neglected — way to stop the spread of infections

NEW YORK, May 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — As a group, healthcare professionals clean their hands less than half of the times they should. For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public-health agency tasked with protecting America from health, safety and security threats, this is a major problem.

But how do you deliver a message so common that it’s commonly ignored?

Today is World Hand Hygiene Day, and the CDC is marking the date by promoting their “Clean Hands Count” campaign urging healthcare professionals, patients, and patients’ loved ones to prevent healthcare-associated infections by keeping their hands clean.

The Clean Hands Count campaign is a partnership between CDC, the CDC Foundation, and GOJO. Together, they are collaborating on a new program with Figure 1, the knowledge-sharing platform for medical professionals, and reaching providers in a new way. The program is using Figure 1’s quiz formatto underscore the importance of hand hygiene, and the first case has already been seen more than 40,000 times by U.S. healthcare professionals.

“A busy provider might need to clean their hands 100 times in a 12-hour shift, and glove use is no substitute,” said Dr. Joshua Landy, Figure 1’s co-founder and chief medical officer. “When the CDC Foundation brings facts like that to an engaged audience like ours, it’s an amazing opportunity to start a newconversation.”

The CDC’s campaign addresses some common misperceptions about hand hygiene. For example, some people wrongly believe that using alcohol-based hand sanitizer contributes to antibiotic resistance and that it is more damaging to hands than washing with soap and water. In fact, alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills most germs quickly and in a different way than antibiotics, so it
does not cause antibiotic resistance, and it causes less skin irritation than frequent use of soap and water.

About the CDC Foundation

The CDC Foundation advances the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through philanthropy and public-private partnerships that protect the health, safety and security of America and the world. Established by Congress more than two decades ago, the CDC Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that has launched nearly 900 programs and raised more than $662 million through partnerships with philanthropies, corporations, organizations and individuals. The CDC Foundation currently manages more than 300 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 85 countries. For more information, please visit www.cdcfoundation.org.

About Figure 1

Figure 1 is a free mobile app that helps millions of healthcare professionals in more than 190 countries connect, communicate, and collaborate. With 70% of North American medical students now using it as an educational resource, Figure 1 represents the future of medicine. To learn more, go to www.figure1.com.

SureWash uses technology to teach people effective hand hygiene technique to empower staff, patients & families to reduce their risk of infection while increasing compliance rates.

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