Hand Hygiene – Brace Yourselves!

Mrs Janine Carrucan1, Mrs Judy Morton1

1Townsville Hospital And Health Service, Douglas, Australia



Hand hygiene is a basic and effective infection prevention activity. The early days of Florence Nightingale and Ignaz Semmelwiess demonstrated the impact of hand hygiene in the inpatient setting, but despite this, hospitals continue to struggle with sub optimal rates of compliance.


While there have been many interventions described to improve hand hygiene it is common for hospitals to use a multi modal approach to improve compliance rates.

In response to poor compliance rates for hand hygiene, a high rate of Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections and a consumer initiated paper, a relaunch of the hand hygiene program was implemented with a fresh approach.

Results and Conclusions

We present here our review and implementation of the entire hand hygiene program, including new signage, colours and messages to more effective reach our target audience.


Janine Carrucan is an experienced registered nurse at The Townsville Hospital and Health in north Queensland.  Her career has included acute surgical nursing, education both clinical and tertiary;  primary health care and her current role is the Nursing Director for Infection Prevention & Control program that manages the infection control program at a 600 bed tertiary referral hospital, 7 rural hospitals and 2 aged care facilities.  Janine is also the program manager for antimicrobial stewardship.

She is a credentialed infection control practitioner with the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control and has Masters Degrees in Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Infection Prevention and Control.

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