Adventist Midwest Health is committed to providing excellent care to all patients. We would like you to join our team as a partner in your care. Below are some tips on ways you can keep your family well, both as a patient in the hospital and at home.
Hand hygiene is the single most important element in preventing the spread of infection to you and your family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends proper handwashing techniques to improve patient safety and for conquering germs in non-health care settings.
When Should I Wash My Hands?
- Whenever your hands are visibly dirty
- Before you eat, and before touching your mouth, nose or eyes
- Before and after preparing food
- After contact with blood or other bodily fluids, using the restroom, touching animals or pets or changing diapers
- After coughing, sneezing, using a tissue
- Before dressing a wound, giving medicine or inserting contact lenses
- When someone in your home is sick, you should wash your hands more frequently to prevent the spread of infection
A Special Message for Patients and Visitors
The physicians, nurses and staff at Adventist Midwest Health are encouraged to wash their hands between every patient contact. As a patient visitor, you can help prevent the spread of infection by following these tips:
- Wash your hands before and after visiting a patient. Ask all health care providers and visitors to do the same!
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom and before eating
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently, especially if you are assisting or learning care procedures for the patient.
- If you have a cold, respiratory symptoms or another contagious illness, please delay your visit until you are well.
- Assist children with good hand hygiene. Children can carry infections or viruses that can compromise patients.
Wash Your Hands Properly
- Wet hands with warm water and work soap into a lather
- Rub your hands vigorously for at least 15 seconds. (Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" all the way through -- twice!) Scrub your fingers, backs of hands and wrists.
- Rinse your hands with warm water and pat them dry with a clean paper towel or air dryer.
- Use a clean paper towel to turn off the water faucet to prevent re-contamination. Discard the towel in the trash.
In addition to traditional soap and water handwashing, the CDC recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers for routine cleaning. If hands are visibly soiled, soap and water should be used.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in patient rooms, at the entrance of most units and near the cafeteria.
- Apply the sanitizer to the palm of one hand
- Rub your hands together until they're dry, making sure the sanitizer covers every spot if your hands and fingers
- It should take about 15 seconds for the sanitizer to dry. If it takes less time, you didn't use enough sanitizer!