Handwashing saves lives but this basic practice doesn’t get 100% compliance in health care settings. Isn’t that ridiculous? This new video by the Alliance for Safety Awareness for Patients walks us through the history of hand hygiene in health care, and poses some great questions that health care workers need to answer.

Recent studies show that today only 1 in 4 healthcare workers washes their hands between patients! How much longer before hand hygiene compliance is 100%? Alicia Cole, member of our Safe Patient Project activist network and Founder of Alliance for Safety Awareness for Patients, advises: “Never be afraid to say, “Please wash your hands.” According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, people who felt very uncomfortable asking questions about their care and the steps being taken to keep them safe were 50 percent more likely to experience at least one medical error, compared with those who felt very comfortable. Speaking up and asking questions can increase your odds of staying healthy, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.

Have you ever asked your doctor if they washed their hands?