Here's more information from the Joint Commission, with additional links to the reports from the CDC and the WHO:
And a preview:
"Q. Where can I find the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines?
A. View the CDC report . Download the WHO report . (Requires Adobe Reader) (Of course these will be live links when you visit the Joint Commission website.)
Categories of recommendations
Q. Does Joint Commission require implementation of all the recommendations in the CDC or WHO hand hygiene guidelines?
A. Each of the CDC and WHO hand hygiene recommendations is categorized on the basis of the strength of evidence supporting the recommendation. All âcategory Iâ recommendations (including categories IA, IB, and IC) must be implemented. Category II recommendations should be considered for implementation but are not required for accreditation purposes. Category IA recommendations are strongly supported by well-designed experimental, clinical, or epidemiological studies; category IB recommendations are supported by certain experimental, clinical, or epidemiological studies and a strong theoretical rationale; category IC recommendations are required by regulation; category II recommendations are supported by suggestive clinical or epidemiological studies or a theoretical rationale. The CDC also includes among its recommendations several âunresolved issuesâ for which it makes âno recommendation.â
Q. The CDC guidelines say that health care personnel should not wear artificial nails and should keep natural nails less than one quarter inch long if they care for patients at high risk of acquiring infections (e.g. patients in intensive care units or in transplant units). The WHO guidelines prohibit artificial nails and extenders for all healthcare workers. Will Joint Commission actually be requiring this?
A. Each organization must follow the IA, IB and IC recommendations from the guideline it chooses (CDC or WHO). Therefore, if WHO is chosen, no direct care providers should have artificial nails or extenders. If CDC is chosen, providers in high-risk areas must not wear artificial nails. Please note that many organizations following CDC guidelines have chosen to expand the ban on artificial nails to all care providers in the interest of safety. Regarding the length of natural nails, each organization may choose its own approach since the level of recommendation in both the CDC and WHO guidelines is âIIâ, thereby making compliance optional."