As World Hand Hygiene Day approaches on Saturday 05 May, Hand Hygiene New Zealand (HHNZ) congratulates District Health Boards and hospital-based healthcare workers throughout the country for working hard to improve hand hygiene practice.
“Hand hygiene is one of the most important measures in the fight against healthcare associated infections (HAIs), making it a key patient safety issue within New Zealand hospitals,” says Dr Joshua Freeman, Clinical Lead, Hand Hygiene New Zealand and Microbiologist at Auckland District Health Board.
“Since phase two of the HHNZ programme began in September last year, DHB hand hygiene coordinators, along with gold and platinum auditors have been doing a great job raising awareness among healthcare workers about the importance of hand hygiene to patient safety, while educating them about when and how to perform good hand hygiene,” he says.
“Momentum is really beginning to build and we want to congratulate and thank everyone who is working hard to improve hand hygiene compliance.
“We know healthcare workers want to do the best for their patients, and we are seeing more and more staff making hand hygiene a priority when caring for patients,” says Dr Freeman.
“Ultimately we’d like to see good hand hygiene practice become second nature to all healthcare workers. We know this isn’t easy and we will do all we can to support DHBs and healthcare workers to achieve this, so we can continue to improve DHB hand hygiene compliance rates and reduce healthcare associated infections,” he adds.
Hand Hygiene New Zealand encourages all healthcare workers to use World Hand Hygiene Day as an opportunity to refresh their hand hygiene knowledge and pledge to make it a priority.
Hand Hygiene New Zealand recommends healthcare workers perform hand hygiene according to World Health Organization’s 5 moments for hand hygiene approach. This requires hand hygiene to be performed at the following times (irrespective of whether or not gloves are used):
Information and educational resources about hand hygiene in the hospital setting, including ‘how-to’ guides, online learning tools, and ‘contact us’ information, can be obtained from the Hand Hygiene New Zealand website (www.handhygiene.org.nz).
Hand Hygiene New Zealand (HHNZ) is one component of the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s (HQSC) Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) programme, which aims to reduce healthcare associated infections in New Zealand. The HHNZ programme is delivered by Auckland District Health Board on behalf of the HQSC.