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Waitemata Hits New High in Hand Hygiene

17 May 2013

Waitemata Hits New High in Hand Hygiene

Waitemata District Health Board’s drive for continuous improvement in patient care has seen it hit a new high in hand hygiene compliance.

Audit results recently released for the period ending March 31 places Waitemata in joint third place among the 20 DHBs with a hand hygiene compliance rate of 73% – up significantly from the 62% achieved in October last year. The DHB is also well ahead of the national average of 66.6%.

“The result is a tremendous achievement for our DHB, and will make a big difference in reducing the rate of hospital transmitted infections,” says CEO Dr Dale Bramley, “Poor hand hygiene compliance is a common issue in hospitals around the world – we at Waitemata aim to buck this trend.”

Waitemata is one of five DHBs that improved their hand hygiene compliance rates by more than 10% over the five month audit period.

“The improvement in our hand hygiene compliance rate is one component of our organisational promise of providing Best Care for Everyone.

“This achievement would not have been possible without the support of all our staff, particularly our hand hygiene team who’ve worked so hard to raise awareness and compliance across our DHB.”

Initiatives introduced at Waitemata include a hand hygiene transparency report which graded wards on the success of their hand hygiene improvements. Alcohol hand gel was also made readily accessible at hospital main entrances, ward entrances and room entrances, and at the ends of patients’ beds.

“Cleaning your hands at the right time is a simple but very effective step in preventing a patient from developing a healthcare-associated infection,” says Dr Bramley.

Healthcare associated infections can lead to longer hospital stays, greater expense as well as considerable distress for patients and their families. To combat this, New Zealand has in place rigorous standards for hand hygiene based on World Health Organization recommendations.

As part of the national programme, audits takes place three times a year with the data submitted to Hand Hygiene New Zealand and the Health Quality & Safety Commission.

Waitemata DHB has also been participating in Hand Hygiene New Zealand’s gold auditor ‘train the trainer’ programme. Three participants from Waitemata have attended and are now gold auditor trainers, enabling them to conduct local auditor training as well as support other DHBs in this area.


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