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DHBs show marked improvement in hand hygiene

DHBs show marked improvement in hand hygiene

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has congratulated district health boards on improving national hand hygiene rates.

“I am very pleased that a new report on the national hand hygiene programme shows the average compliance rate among DHB health care professionals increased by nearly 6 per cent in the last three months,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Hand hygiene is one of the most important measures in reducing harm from healthcare associated infections in hospitals.

“These infections are a leading cause of preventable harm, and can be life threatening. They can lead to longer hospital stays, repeated readmissions, lengthy rehabilitation and, occasionally, death.”

The national Health Quality and Safety Markers set a goal of 70 percent compliance with good hand hygiene practice.

The latest report by Hand Hygiene New Zealand (HHNZ) shows that 13 DHBs achieved compliance rates of 70 per cent or above, while 6 DHBs had rates between 60 and 69 per cent.

“There is a very pleasing commitment to hand hygiene by DHBs all around the country,” Mrs Goodhew says.

“For example, Tairawhiti District Health’s work involves full-time auditing of staff compliance and the use of educational resources. And Auckland DHB has a dedicated hand hygiene coordinator, has reviewed staff education materials and provides regular feedback to staff on areas for improvement.”

HHNZ is a partnership between the Health Quality & Safety Commission and Auckland DHB aimed at improving compliance with hand hygiene in DHBs and reducing rates of healthcare associated Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia.

The full HHNZ report is available at and more information about the Commission’s infection prevention and control programme can be found at


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