March 13, 2020

Clean hands, safe care

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), hand hygiene is the single most effective strategy to prevent hospital acquired infections.

Madelaine Flynn, Manager Infection Prevention, explained how our hands may appear clean, but many germs are invisible to the eye.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we see increased focused on hand hygiene and the importance of following the procedures to keep ourselves and our patients protected. The most important we can do for our patients to prevent transmission of disease is to perform effective hand hygiene and follow the five steps of hand hygiene,” she said.

Hand hygiene must always be performed according to the ‘5 Moments’ – 1: Before touching a patient;  2: Before a procedure; 3: After a procedure or potential blood or body fluid exposure; 4: After touching a patient and 5: After touching a patient’s surrounds.

“Alcohol Based Hand Rub (ABHR) is the gold standard of care for hand hygiene practices and results in a greater reduction of bacteria than soap and water. It dries quickly and causes less skin irritation than soap and water, although soap and water should still be used when hands are visibly soiled,” she added.

Penelope Grellet, Director Trust, Diversity and Engagement said our current Hand Hygiene mandatory training results are sitting at 80.4%, while the ANTT results are 82.7%.

“As an organisation, we have a target of 95% for both of these trainings. I would like to strongly encourage everyone to complete their training to ensure that Northern Health are doing everything we can to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our staff, patients and the community,” she said.