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This year’s theme for World Hand Hygiene Day (WHHD), 2022, is focused on recognizing that people at all levels can work together through clean hands, to meet the common goal of safety and quality in health care delivery.

Hand hygiene remains one of the most important and effective methods for reducing healthcare-associated infections and cross-infection between patients. A strong health care quality and safety climate or culture that values hand hygiene and IPC will encourage and support people to clean hands at the right time, in the right way, with the right products.

When a healthcare facility’s “quality and safety culture” values hand hygiene and infection prevention and control (IPC), this results in both patients and health workers feeling protected and cared for. We all play a part in achieving the appropriate behaviors and attitudes towards hand hygiene and IPC.

Hand hygiene improvement must be embedded in the wider organizational quality and safety initiatives at all levels.

To achieve this goal and engage the people to take further actions, this year’s call for action focuses on:

  • Health care workers: to lead by example and encouraging others to clean their hands.
  • IPC practitioners: for engaging health workers to be part of new hand hygiene initiatives.
  • Quality and safety leads:  for working with infection prevention colleagues to support hand hygiene improvement.
  • Facility managers:  for promoting a quality and safety culture to ensure clean hands.
  • Policy makers:  for prioritizing resources, training and programs on hand hygiene.
  • People who use health care: for getting involved in local hand hygiene campaigns and activities.

There is still room for improvement in hand hygiene practices around the world. Together, let us unite and campaign for quality and safety culture with hand hygiene at its heart.