Hands up for hand hygiene in cancer care

Ms Nicole Gavin1,2, Dr Shelley Kulperger1, Dr Mirko Guaralda2, Ms Sarah Northfield1, Ms Rebecca Lippiatt1, Ms Linda Carolli2, Mr John Michael Barrie1, Ms Janelle Colquhoun1, Ms Carolyn Wharton1

1Royal Brisbane And Women’s Hospital, Herston, Australia
2Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia


Aim: Hand hygiene is the most effective measure to reduce hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). This project took a novel approach to engaging healthcare workers, patients and their carers to understand and describe their attitudes, perceptions, motivations and behaviours towards hand hygiene. We aimed to improve hand hygiene compliance and provide a successful model of engagement in Cancer Care Services (CCS).

Method: We held the first workshop to identify issues around hand hygiene and inform the development of the interactions for the InstaBooth, a methodology for stakeholder engagement. A final workshop analysed the data and designed a range of interventions to the issues raised. Effectiveness of educational interventions was assessed using the monthly Hand Hygiene audits.

Results: The first workshop provided a forum for consumers, carers and healthcare workers to share their experiences, ideas and suggestions for improving hand hygiene practices and/or reducing HAIs. The InstaBooth was deployed for 12 days in August/September 2017. It elicited 642 separate interactions over six activities. A second workshop developed interventions which were tested in the clinical environment (March-June 2018). Personal stories revealed themes such as vulnerability, trust, power and professionalism which have been used effectively to improve Moment 2 compliance through education interventions. In May 2018 Moment 2 compliance was 92% across CCS – the highest compliance in the past year.

Conclusion: The InstaBooth deployment and workshops revealed a high level of hand hygiene awareness and willingness to learn more and do better. Our education interventions improved Moment 2 compliance in CCS.


Nicole Gavin is a Nurse Researcher in Cancer Care Services. Her research interests are in vascular access and infection control.

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