COLUMBUS – Today, State Rep. Juanita O. Brent (D-Cleveland) announced the reintroduction of her legislation from the 133rd General Assembly to promote patient hand hygiene education. This announcement comes just before Hand Hygiene Awareness Day this week on Wednesday, May 5.
“The pandemic has shown us now more than ever that practicing good hand hygiene is a critical way to prevent the spread of illnesses and keep ourselves healthy,” said Rep. Brent. “I first started working on this legislation prior to the COVID-19 pandemic when I learned just how inadequate proper hand hygiene is at health care facilities. I am grateful to Dr. Shanina Knighton, an infectious disease specialist here in Ohio, for her work on this and bringing this issue to my attention. This bill is an important first step in ensuring good hand hygiene education and practice in the State of Ohio.”
This bill would require health care facilities to make educational materials and guidelines, which would be provided by the Ohio Department of Health, available to all patients and residents at the following times:
· At meal times
· When entering and exiting an area of the facility where patient care is provided
· Before and after touching a wound or medical device
· After coughing or sneezing
· After urination or a bowel movement, regardless of whether these take place in a bathroom or somewhere else.
This legislation would not impose any penalties on a person who does not participate, and only requires that safe hand hygiene education be offered within the health care facility.
The legislation awaits a bill number and referral to a House committee.