August 1, 2019

Hand hygiene boosted to 96% on Ward 3

Hand hygiene is always very important in healthcare.

On Ward 3 at Northern Hospital it is particularly important, as the ward cares predominately for oncology/haematology patients, who are often immunosuppressed and vulnerable.

Recently, the ward’s hand hygiene results increased from 79% to 96%, and graduate nurse, Acqua Makomo, is a big reason for the impressive increase.

Ward 3 were looking to increase their hand hygiene results, to improve patient care, which is where Acqua stepped in.

Acqua undertook a hand hygiene-based project as her quality and safety activity which graduates complete as part of their 12 month program.

Through her research, she was able to raise awareness of the important areas for staff to focus on, which results in patients being better protected.

Graduate nurse projects are based on a particular topic or clinical issue of their choice that directly relates to patient care. Mentors from Education and Quality & Safety are allocated to each graduate to assist with planning and implementation of each activity.

Nicole Campbell, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Infection Prevention, provided guidance and advice to Acqua along with the ward staff. The staff have pledged to continue Aqua’s good work to sustain this result.

Graduate Nursing & Midwifery Program Coordinator, Kate Duggan, said, “The overall aim is to introduce our graduates to the process of improving patient care through analysis of experience, data and processes, and the implementation of simple strategies at a ward level that improve patient experience. They then remeasure to assess the outcome, and develop recommendations of findings.”

Graduate Nurse, Acqua Makomo, said, “It was a really good project – I got to research about the five moments of hand hygiene, and how important it is for us as nurses to stick to the five moments, especially for us here in the Oncology Ward (Ward 3). Our patients are having chemotherapy and their immune system is low so it’s very important we prevent spread of infection.”

Aqua is rightly proud of her project and said: “This is a really good achievement and I feel that our patients are now much safer!”

Acqua (second from left) with Ward 3 staff and mentors