Whanganui placed second highest DHB in the country for hand hygiene

30 April 2015
A rigorous hand hygiene audit of the country’s 20 district health boards (DHBs) has seen Whanganui DHB score the second highest result for the four months ending 31 March.

WDHB infection prevention and control nurse specialist Jacqui Pennefather is delighted with the result which she says reflects the hard work that staff have put into raising, and maintaining, the level of hand hygiene throughout Wanganui Hospital.

“Hand Hygiene New Zealand expects an 80 percent compliance rate by 30 June this year but the latest results show the WDHB to have reached 84.1 percent which we intend to keep improving on,” says Mrs Pennefather.

“Staff right across the spectrum, doctors, nurses, surgeons, Allied Health, health care assistants, and clerical, domestic and laboratory staff, are all involved in this effort.”

Mrs Pennefather says five auditors regularly observe Wanganui Hospital staff who know there are five key moments when they need to reduce transmission of infection while working in clinical areas.

Developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to reduce health care associated infection, the “My 5 moments for hand hygiene” strategy is now embedded in all New Zealand hospitals.

Wanganui Hospital visitors and patients are exposed to a range of messages encouraging good hand hygiene practice from them as well as staff. A large free-standing hand hygiene station with gel greets everyone entering the Main Entrance. And hand gel stations are positioned at the entrance to all clinical areas.

Mrs Pennefather applauds visitors for their willingness to support the hospital’s efforts to maintain low infection rates. She says it’s very pleasing to see people of all ages reach for the gel when entering and exiting the hospital and wards.

National Hand Hygiene results leaderboard