Man vs. Superbug: Dawn of Patient Hand Hygiene

superbug-hand hygiene

There is quite a bit of chatter lately about a battle between a “super being” and a man who has reason to believe the “super being” is a threat to society. Yes, it sounds very much like a certain superhero movie; however, in real life the “super being” is actually a superbug (a virus, bacteria, or another kind of microbe that is resistant to the antibiotics usually used to treat them) and the man is, well, everyone.

JAMA Internal Medicine published a research letter recently containing new insight about germ spread and the importance of hand hygiene in the healthcare industry. Doctors and nurses frequently wash their hands to help prevent germ spread, but what about their patients?

The researchers of this paper focused on hospital patients in inner-city Detroit. Among their findings were these facts:

  1. Superbugs were found on the hands of 1 in 4 adult patients after transferring from hospitals to post-acute care facilities, such as rehabilitation centers, nursing facilities, or hospice and long-term care facilities.
  2. About 10% of patients picked up another superbug while in post-acute care.
  3. 67% of those who had superbugs still had them upon being discharged – even if they weren’t infected.

These numbers raise many questions and concerns about current public health policies. While the paper’s authors state more research is required and more cities need to be studied, they point out a need to promote patient hand hygiene programs in hospitals and post-acute settings.

Whether you work in a medical facility or a general office, good handwashing is one line of defense against germs, illness and infection. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects is another. You can help promote good hand hygiene in your workplace by hanging our handwashing poster in your office’s restrooms and near break room sinks. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available. Ask your cleaning company if they use hospital-grade disinfectants proven to kill germs, combined with equipment to help prevent germ spread and cross-contamination. If they don’t, give Coverall a call. Our Franchised Business Owners are armed with the Core 4® Process, designed to produce a better clean while fighting off germs in your facility. Learn more at


Coverall North America, Inc. and its Master Franchisees license and support more than 8,000 independently owned and operated franchised commercial cleaning businesses worldwide under the Coverall® name and System. Franchise offers made through prospectus only.


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