Improving hand hygiene performance in Victoria – beyond the national hand hygiene initiative

Jennifer Bradford 1, Andrew Stewardson 1, Lindsay Grayson 1

Hand Hygiene Australia, 145 Studley Rd Heidelberg, VIC, Australia


This project was initiated to optimise efficiency of hand hygiene (HH) audits, improve access to education resources, and review implementation of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) in Victorian public health services (VPHS).

Workshops were held to distribute mobile devices loaded with resources for HH auditing and education to VPHS. A review visit was conducted at each VPHS, comprising a standardised interview and side-by-side HH auditing. Questions addressed system change, healthcare worker education, auditing, performance feedback and safety climate. VPHS received recommendations and were requested to complete a final evaluation.

Seven workshops were held to distribute 117 mobile devices to 84 VPHS. Overall 62/85(73%) VPHS completed a project evaluation. Sixty percent (37/62) health services did not use a mobile device for HH auditing before the project. Of these, 84%(31/37) used mobile devices for auditing after the project. Mobile devices reduced auditing time by up to 50% compared with paper-based audits.
All VPHS programs were consistent with the NHHI. Areas for improvement included opportunities for more interactive education, frontline ownership and targeting of specific clinical groups and departments. Most respondents (81%[48/59]) indicated that changes had been either planned or implemented on the basis of recommendations from their review visit. We identified local innovations that could be disseminated to other VPHS.

Use of mobile devices improves efficiency of HH auditing. Innovations and key components of successful programs will be shared to facilitate improvement in HH practices and outcomes may be used to guide HH promotion in the future.

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