The Hand Hygiene Compliance Auditor Experience

Ms Penelope Radalj1, Ms Trish Mant1, Ass Prof Eugene  Athan1

1Barwon Health, Geelong, Australia



Hand hygiene compliance (HHC) observational auditing is recognised as a large part of a multimodal hand hygiene program. There is a requirement for all public acute care health facilities nationally to submit HHC data. Barwon Health currently have 60 Hand Hygiene Australia recognised HHC auditors who audit HHC of staff in their area of clinical practice. Since implementation of this program HHC has exceeded the national reporting benchmark. There is a paucity of published studies exploring the experience of HHC auditors and hand hygiene programs.


The aim of the current study is to understand the experiences of HHC auditors, their expectations, perceived enablers and barriers to participation and their future involvement in the program.

The study is planned in two phases. A cross sectional survey exploring the experience of HHC auditors in phase one of the study. The survey focuses on further understanding the enablers and barriers experienced by the HHC auditors.

Phase two of the study consists of five focus groups. The themes discussed in these groups informs the findings of the cross sectional survey in phase one.


The current study is still being undertaken. However, initial findings suggest that barriers to the program are consistent with published barriers to practice change. Auditors in the program are provided with enablers to assist with increasing HHC that will be evaluated for effectiveness and information on how the HHC auditors view their role will be presented.


This study supports sustainability of HHC auditors on the frontline.


Penny is a Gold Standard Auditor in hand hygiene compliance. She has managed the hand hygiene project at Barwon Health since 2008. Qualifications include a Graduate Diploma in Acute Care Nursing and Graduate Certificate in Infection Control.


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