26 Jul 2017 | Infection Prevention & Control
DHBs throughout the country embraced World Hand Hygiene Day this year. The campaign promotes a global profile on the importance of improving hand hygiene in health care annually on 5 May 2017.
This year’s focus was ‘Fight antibiotic resistance – it’s in your hands’. The theme connects the core practice of effective infection prevention and antimicrobial resistance agendas.
Below are some of the fun and innovative events DHBs shared with the Commission as they embraced the day. Health care workers participating in this campaign displayed great support for infection prevention.
Counties Manukau Health celebrated the day with a lots of activities to raise awareness. These included:
Canterbury DHB took the day one step further by promoting the hand hygiene message for the whole month of May.
In one activity, the DHB put a different multi-drug resistant organism (MDRO) in the spotlight each week during May. The aim was to educate staff and patients that the most common transfer of MDROs is via hands. Staff were reminded of a quick reference to local policy via the intranet and the patient information leaflets available to both staff and patients via www.healthinfo.org.nz.
New posters were also displayed showing environmental risks in both clinical and patient environments to increase awareness and provide specific education opportunities. The posters visualised bacterial contamination on everyday items like staff identification badges and clinical area keyboards. Teams were encouraged to print and display the posters in their work areas to initiate conversations with their colleagues around potentials for contamination.
In another activity, the DHB’s hand hygiene governance group ran a staff competition asking ‘What’s your hand hygiene culture?’ to encourage staff to show their commitment to hand hygiene. Teams were invited to share their planned frontline initiatives to improve hand hygiene in their clinical areas or wards, and/or provide their best catchy slogan for remembering to clean hands. The winners were the Radiation Oncology Canterbury Regional Cancer and Haematology Service, who aligned the ‘5 moments for hand hygiene’ to their outpatient area. They educated staff on the moments, and how they can make them work in a fast-paced, patient-focused, yet technical environment. They were rewarded with a delicious afternoon tea!
The Dunedin infection prevention and control (IPC) team hit home this year’s message with a very brave showcase of their dancing and singing talents through the art form of burlesque. Their entertaining dance was accompanied by custom lyrics to promote hand hygiene. You can view the video here.
Other activities included displays around the hospital reminding staff, patients and visitors about the importance of hand hygiene and information on antibiotic resistance.
Hawke’s Bay DHB used the day to congratulate staff for all their hard work as they ‘lead the country with compliance rate’.
Other celebrations included running two competitions: one for ‘guess the hands’, and one for the best department hand hygiene display board, where they had 11 entries from clinical areas, including their rural hospital Wairoa.
The winning display went to the Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation ward.
IPC advisors Margaret Drury and Racquel MacDonald were joined by Joji Pablo, one of the DHB’s hand hygiene champions. Joji has been a gold auditor since 2014 and is very passionate about hand hygiene. Her enthusiasm on the day was integral to the success of the morning when they were manning the booth.
World Hand Hygiene Day brings people together to highlight the importance of hand hygiene as a keystone of infection prevention. This basic practice protects patients and health workers from healthcare associated infections.