Hand Hygiene is a general term applying to the use of soap/solution (non-antimicrobial or antimicrobial) and water, or a waterless antimicrobial agent to the surface of the hands.
Hand hygiene is simple and is the most important way of preventing infections in hospital. Our hands may look clean but many germs are invisible to our eyes. We can unknowingly transmit bacteria and viruses to others and our environment.
What Bunbury Day Hospital is doing:
It is important that we check whether healthcare workers are using correct hand hygiene. There is no magic way of knowing if a person has washed their hands. The accepted way of measuring hand hygiene is for a trained auditor to watch healthcare workers as they go about their day treating patients in hospital. There is a government-approved organisation called ‘Hand Hygiene Australia’ that helps with this measurement. Bunbury Day Hospital has a “gold-standard auditor” on site accredited through Hand Hygiene Australia. The auditor is trained to check that staff are washing their hands as often as they should.
Each opportunity for hand hygiene is called a “moment”. Five Moments for hand hygiene have been identified by the World Health Organisation as the critical times when hand hygiene should be performed in hospital. These are:
- Before touching a patient
- Before a procedure
- After a procedure
- After touching a patient
- After touching a patient’s belongings or surroundings
Bunbury Day Hospital reports their Hand Hygiene Compliance rates as part of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative www.hha.org.au
Bunbury Day Hospital's latest Hand Hygiene results were 82% compliance.