SA Health has urged healthcare staff to practice good hand hygiene following Global Hand Hygiene Day last weekend (5 May).
gets a hand
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paddy Phillips said it was essential that healthcare staff practise proper hand hygiene to help protect patients from healthcare-associated infections.
“Since the introduction of the Hand Hygiene Program in 2009, we have seen a continuous improvement in the compliance of all healthcare workers across SA’s public health system,” Professor Phillips said.
“The program is based on the World Health Organisations concept of 5 hand hygiene moments which reflects each time a clinician interacts with a patient.”
He said the 5 moments were before touching a patient; before a procedure; after a procedure or body fluid exposure risk; after touching a patient; and after touching a patient’s surroundings.
“As at the end of March, SA’s overall compliance rate for the 5 moments was 74 per cent, which is the highest it has ever been and is currently above the national average,” he said.
“This is a significant improvement from 59 per cent in April 2010.
“While it is pleasing that South Australia is above the national average, we would like to see this rate continue to improve.”
Professor Phillips said the Hand Hygiene Program had been implemented in all SA Health acute care hospitals across the State and over 300 staff had been trained to audit hand hygiene compliance.
“We will continue to work with our healthcare staff, including doctors, nurses and allied health staff to ensure they practise good hand hygiene at every part of their working day, which includes at each of the 5 hand hygiene moments,” he said.
Edition 165, 10 May 2012