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Peer reviewed advice on how to wash your hands

April 5, 2011

The New England Journal of Medicine has a new video out on a topic you’d think most people mastered in elementary school- how to wash your hands.

But hand washing isn’t as simple as you think.  When I was working on a story about hand washing spies  these are folks that keep track of how many health care workers wash their hands) I downloaded multi-page handbooks full of advice on this seemingly obvious task.

It’s no joke either.  Hand washing is one of the major ways to prevent the spread of hospital acquired infections.  And people do it less often than they should.  Health care workers are supposed to wash their hands every time they enter and leave a patient’s room.  On average, they comply with that standard about 30% of the time.

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