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A state-wide audit of hand hygiene at 200 facilities across NSW found over 89 percent of Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District staff are following world’s best practice.The data, collected in 2016 and released this week by the Bureau of Health Information, places NBMLHD in the top four in NSW.

High score for hand hygiene

15 Jan 2018


Nepean Hospital infection prevention and control clinical nurse consultant Robert Robinson says good hand hygiene practices are essential for patient and staff safety.

“Staff are well trained in hand hygiene – knowing when to clean their hands and how. These latest results confirm our staff are among the most vigilant in NSW.”

There are ‘five moments’ of hand hygiene as defined by the World Health Organisation – before touching a patient, before a procedure, after a procedure or exposure to body fluids, after touching a patient and after touching a patient’s surroundings.

Hand hygiene compliance is reported as the percentage of observed ‘moments’ for which appropriate hand hygiene was performed.

This survey focused on the two before moments and total of all moments. Trained hand hygiene auditors observe staff as they conduct their usual clinical duties.

In total 28, 241 ‘moments’ or observations of NBMLHD staff were recorded in the audit.

State-wide almost 260,000 observations were documented.

Mr Robinson says visitors to our hospitals can also do their part by using alcohol-based hand rubs located at entrances and other key locations to clean their hands or wash their hands with soap and water before and after seeing their loved ones.

A helpful video on how to wash your hands effectively.

Facilities audited in the state-wide survey include acute inpatient hospitals, residential aged care centres, community health networks and dental facilities and are located across NSW’s Local Health Districts and specialty health networks.

The NSW Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) manages the National Hand Hygiene Initiative in NSW and provided audit data to the Bureau of Health Information for the analysis.