A six step hand washing technique for healthcare workers has been found to kill more bugs.
The six steps, recommended by the World Health Organisation have been found to be superior to a three step procedure recommended by the US Centres for Disease and Control Prevention.
“Hand hygiene is regarded as the most important intervention to reduce healthcare-associated infections,” said Jacqui Reilly, Professor of infection prevention and control at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland.
The Glasgow study of doctors and nurses in an acute-care teaching hospital found that the six step method took 25pc longer but was much more effective in reducing the number of bacteria.
The six steps include washing:
- Palm to palm
- Back of both hands
- Between the fingers
- Thumbs and wrists
- Rub centre of palm with fingertips
The study is published online in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.