The aim of this review is to show the historical aspects of hands washing for healthy life and explains how can reduce the transmission of community-acquired infectious agents by healthcare workers and patients. This review article is prepared based on available database. The key words used were hands washing, risk assessment, hands hygiene, bacterial flora, contamination, infection, nosocomial, tap water, sanitizer, bacterial resistance, hands bacterial flora, washing methods, antiseptics, healthcare workers, healthcare personnel, from PubMed, ScienceDirect, Embase, Scopus, Web of Sciences, and Google Scholar. Data were descriptively analyzed. The insistence on hand washing has a history of 1400 years. The research results indicate that the bacteria released from the female washed hands in wet and dry condition was lower than from the male's hands with a significance level (3 CFU vs. 8 CFU; confidence interval 95%, P ≤ 0.001). The valuable results of the study indicated that released amount of bacterial flora from wet hands is more than 10 times in compared to dry hands. In addition, established monitoring systems for washing hands before and after patient's manipulation as well as after toilet were dominant indices to prevent the transfer of infectious agents to the patients. Increasing awareness and belief of the healthcare workers have shown an important role by about 30% reduction in the transfection. Hand washing could reduce the episodes of transmission of infectious agents in both community and healthcare settings. However, hand washing is an important key factor to prevent transmission of infectious agents to patients. There is no standard method for measuring compliance. Thus, permanent monitoring of hand washing to reduce the transmission of infections is crucial. Finally, the personnel must believe that hand washing is an inevitable approach to infection control.
Keywords: Bacterial flora; hand washing; healthcare worker; infection control.