By John Wallace, Editor

Hand hygiene is a major concern in the health care industry. One reason for the increased awareness revolves around a heightened awareness of healthcare-acquired infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of many government and regulatory agencies promoting hand hygiene awareness and practices to promote patient and clinician safety.

“In the United States, hospital patients get an estimated 722,000 infections each year. That’s about 1 infection for every 25 patients. Infections that patients get in the hospital can be life threatening and hard to treat. Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections,” according to the CDC website. “Health care providers should practice hand hygiene at key points in time to disrupt the transmission of microorganisms to patients including: before patient contact; after contact with blood, body fluids, or contaminated surfaces (even if gloves are worn); before invasive procedures; and after removing gloves (wearing gloves is not enough to prevent the transmission of pathogens in health care settings).”

“Patients and their loved ones can play a role in helping to prevent infections by practicing hand hygiene themselves as well as asking or reminding their health care providers to perform hand hygiene,” the CDC adds.

An increased awareness of hand hygiene is among the factors sending this specific market to new heights, according to a market report. New technology and devices are also cited as reasons for continued growth.

“Integration of hand hygiene compliance monitoring technologies, with the use of automated and manual dispensers, is expected to help the hand hygiene market grow to $446.9 million in 2017,” according to an analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

Yet, some analysts see obstacles that the market will have to overcome to reach that mark.

“The requirement to prevent and manage healthcare-acquired infections affecting millions of people every year in the world is driving the hand hygiene market all across the globe,” according to a report from Transparency Market Research.

The report from Transparency Market Research indicates that major outbreaks of various infectious diseases in many countries will have an impact on the hand hygiene market.

However, the potential for the hand hygiene market fluctuates across regions, the report states. Poor awareness, lack of education, and training on hand hygiene, along with the lack of a standard procedure for hand hygiene is hindering the growth potential of the market in many nations and could have a negative impact on the global market, according to Transparency Market Research.