Establishing progressive attitudes and commitment in understanding hand hygiene in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit

Mr Brendon Heley1, Ms Paulette Harraway1

1Fiona Stanley Hospital, Murdoch, Australia



Hand hygiene (HH) in the Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) was identified as a risk for patient and staff safety with 59% compliance with the ‘WHO’s 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene’. An innovative strategy was required to drive change for immediate improvement. A collaborative partnership was formed between PACU Clinical Educators and Infection Prevention to create, deliver and evaluate a participant driven education campaign.

The aims were to improve hand hygiene compliance by: identifying barriers to performing HH in an open-plan PACU setting; and to develop strategies/motivators for improvement through consultation and clinical engagement. The Project Team’s vision was to be inclusive and involve clinicians and support staff in all aspects of the PACU project.


Multidimensional methodologies implemented ensured participation, open communication and teamwork. A Gantt-chart was established to track progress and assisted with the rollout of the project. Methods included brainstorming sessions, scenario-based training, voluntary participation in production of resources (posters and banners), pledging a commitment to patient-centred HH and using a range of mediums to promote staff achievements.


The PACU Project was a prominent success, with an increase in the HH compliance rate from 59% of 88%. Addressing the barriers and implementing strategies from the PACU team ensured the success of the hand hygiene campaign.


Enhanced communication and collegial support has created an environment where staff are comfortable to advocate for their patients, share their knowledge and promote patient and staff safety. Continued scenario-based training will ensure sustainability of the HH Project.


Brendon Heley is a Clinical Nurse in Infection Prevention at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He has a passion and drive for patient safety and staff engagement, contributing to the Education and Professional Development Committee at the Australasian College of Infection Prevention and Control, Co-Chairing the Staff Engagement Working Group at Fiona Stanley Hospital and always strives to reach the best outcome for patients, staff and the community.

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