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Hands up for hygiene

11 June 2014

Hands up for hygiene

A national workshop is being held in Wellington over the next two days (12 and 13 June) focusing on best practice and the latest information about hand hygiene in hospitals for staff representing the country’s District Health Boards and private hospitals.

The workshop has been organised by the Auckland DHB, as the lead DHB for the national hand hygiene improvement work.

Dr Sally Roberts, an Auckland DHB clinical microbiologist says the hand hygiene work has paid off for the Auckland City Hospital where a significant reduction in bloodstream infections had released a thousand bed days for patients that would not otherwise be available over a five year period.

The latest audit of all DHBs was conducted in March and Auckland is in first place for hand hygiene compared to other similar sized DHBs and seventy seven per cent of clinical staff have achieved top marks for compliance with the required standard.

“Proper hand hygiene is something all staff have to focus on - including nurses, allied health care workers and doctors.”

Dr Roberts says a patient can spend an extra week in hospital if they end up with an infection. “The hands of healthcare workers play an important role in transmitting germs within the hospital.”

“Resistance to antibiotics is on the rise and poor hand hygiene by DHB staff can add to this issue by spreading drug resistant germs.”

The Hand Hygiene Quality Improvement workshop will be held at the Brentwood Hotel in Wellington on the 12th and 13th of June.

It includes a message from the World Health Organisation’s Director of infection Control, Professor Didier Pittet, from Geneva, Switzerland.

There will also be a session on hand hygiene at the frontline, the release of an education toolkit and the national winners for best improvement in hand hygiene will be announced.

ENDS

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