An editorial published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association says hospitals should consider banning handshakes. Researchers report that the greeting plays a role in spreading infection and disease in such settings, where only 40% of health care personnel typically comply with hand hygiene rules. Many doctors and nurses currently avoid shaking hands with anyone while working, but doing so sometimes results in insulting someone. Instead, they suggest curtailing the custom with signs that read “Handshake-free zone” to protect the health of patients and clinicians and to avoid risk of offense.
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