Lack of Handwashing Leads to Easily Preventable Crises for Hospitals

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    Scary number of hospital workers not taking basic precautions against spread of infection

    How would you feel if you knew your doctor hadn’t washed their hands after seeing the patient before you? Well, according a recent Yahoo News article, if you’ve had a hospital stay in the United States, there’s a good chance it’s happened.

    Although washing hands is one of the single-most effective ways to prevent the spread of dangerous infections—ranging from pneumonia to MRSA, a life-threatening staph infection—in U.S. hospitals, hospital workers wash their hands only about 40 to 50 percent of the time, often because it’s inconvenient or they are overwhelmed by other tasks.

    With approximately 75,000 patients dying every year due to infections actually picked up in the hospital this is a clear crisis, so why isn’t it being addressed adequately?

    Every field has its own predictable, preventable crises, but they won’t be stopped without effort. Look around yourself, do the research, and really think, “what problems are we facing, and what are we likely to encounter?” Find your answers now, or find yourself on the back foot when it comes to managing a damaging crisis.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]

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