Hand hygiene practice reaches six-year high

13 Jul 2015 | Infection Prevention & Control

The Health Quality & Safety Commission congratulates district health boards (DHBs) on reaching the national goal of 80 percent compliance with hand hygiene by 30 June 2015. Results of the April–June 2015 hand hygiene audit show hand hygiene performance improved to meet the national goal, increasing from 77.4 percent in the January–March 2015 quarter.

Improving health care workers’ hand hygiene has been the aim of the national Hand Hygiene New Zealand programme since it was rolled out to DHBs in 2009.

Good hand hygiene is at the heart of patient care. It is the simplest, most effective way to prevent healthcare associated infections and the spread of bacteria resistant to many antibiotics.

New Zealand’s journey towards hand hygiene excellence was celebrated during World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May 2015. Achieving the goal of 80 percent is a reflection of the persistence and hard work of DHB hand hygiene coordinators, the increasing participation of multidisciplinary teams in improving hand hygiene practice and the strong focus on patient safety and infection prevention among all health care workers.

The latest hand hygiene audit report (1 April to 30 June 2015) shows:

  • national hand hygiene performance climbed to an average of 80 percent (up from 77.4 percent during the last audit period of 1 January–31 March 2015)
  • 19 DHBs achieved 75 percent compliance or more. Of those DHBs, 12 achieved 80 percent or more
  • 16 DHBs improved since the last audit, including 10 DHBs who recorded their highest performance to date
  • performance among many of the health care worker categories continues to improve – this was particularly pleasing among medical practitioners and student doctors.

Congratulations to all DHBs and health care workers on your achievements!

Download a copy of the national hand hygiene report.

Last updated 13/07/2015