Hand hygiene – celebrating ongoing improvement

7 May 2015 | Infection Prevention & Control

The latest national hand hygiene audit shows district health boards (DHBs) are well on the way to achieving 80 percent hand hygiene compliance with the ‘5 moments for hand hygiene’ by June 2015.

National hand hygiene practice from November 2014 to March 2015 was 77.4 percent, up from 75 percent in the October 2014 audit.

Locally and nationally hand hygiene results are improving:

  • 14 DHBs achieved 75 percent or above – eight DHBs achieved 80 percent or greater compared to two in June 2014.
  • 11 DHBs improved since the last audit; one DHB improved by more than 10 percent.
  • Performance according to each of the ‘5 moments’ has improved across all moments with moment five (after touching a patient’s surroundings), up from 70.1 percent to 76.2 percent nationally.
  • Hand hygiene performance and glove use has improved in all three situations: before gloves are put on, when they are taken off, and at the appropriate times during patient care.

The report is available on the Hand Hygiene New Zealand (HHNZ) website.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2015

World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May 2015 highlighted the key role hand hygiene plays in safe patient care. HHNZ supported health care workers to take part in this major global effort to improve hand hygiene in health care, led by the World Health Organization (WHO).

This year WHO celebrated 10 years of their global campaign ‘Clean care is safer care’ to reduce health care associated infections (HAI) worldwide. The central focus has been on the importance of clean hands in health care. The campaign has gained attention from ministers of health, including New Zealand’s, who have pledged commitment to reducing HAIs.

WHO hand hygiene tools and materials to support ongoing improvement in hand hygiene are available on the HHNZ website.

Hand hygiene – an ongoing improvement programme

Since 2011, the Commission has delivered the national hand hygiene programme (HHNZ) in partnership with Auckland DHB.

Following an evaluation of the programme in 2014, and discussion with HHNZ and the Commission’s Strategic Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Advisory Group, the programme is transitioning from a lead agency model to a model where the Commission will provide oversight and support to a locally and regionally led improvement programme. Some key functions, including project management, clinical Leadership, supporting the auditor function, the hand hygiene database and providing guidance and support more generally, will be maintained by the Commission as part of its ongoing focus on hand hygiene improvement.

The programme transition will be discussed at the regional IPC meetings to be held in Midland (22 May), Central (26 May) and South Island (2 June). Contact Ron Kuriyan Project Coordinator, national hand hygiene programme, for further meeting details.


Last updated 07/05/2015