St. Charles launches hand washing awareness campaign

St. Charles Health System is launching a hand washing campaign geared at encouraging patients to remind their caregivers to wash or sanitize their hands to avoid spreading infectious diseases.

“Hand hygiene is the No. 1 factor in reducing transmission of infectious diseases,” said Kari Coe, Program Manager, Infection Prevention and Control for St. Charles. “We must always be diligent.”

Direct patient caregivers have been given buttons to wear that say, “Have I washed my hands? It’s OK to ask.” In conjunction with the buttons, posters are being distributed throughout the hospitals.

Patients also have an important role in the campaign.

“We are encouraging patients and their families to advocate for themselves,” Coe said. “We want patients to ask their physicians, nurses, and anyone else who provides care to observe them washing their hands.”

Coe is also conducting an internal education campaign reminding caregivers to sanitize before and after every patient encounter and to wash with soap and water if their hands are visibly soiled, or if a patient has Clostridium difficile.

About St. Charles Health System
St. Charles Health System, Inc.,  headquartered in Bend, owns and operates the St. Charles medical centers in Bend and Redmond, leases and operates Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Prineville and provides management services for Mountain View Hospital in Madras. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,000 caregivers in Bend, Redmond and Prineville. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with St. Charles to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.

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