Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The importance of hand hygiene

We met last week with Carmel Spence, Infection Control Officer from Calvary Hospital. Carmel came to the HCCA office with Erica Webber, the Volunteers Coordinator at Calvary to present Adele Stevens with an award for her work as a consumer representative on the Infection Control Committee.

Health care associated infections are a major and growing issue in the quality and safety of health care. It has been identified by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care as a priority area and the highest priority area to reduce the risk of health care-associated infections is to improve health care worker hand hygiene.

The Daily Telegraph has published a story on the action NSW Health is taking that demonstrates the importance of this. The article is entitled NSW doctors told wash hands or be fired
"Under the first significant commitment by the Government, following Commissioner Peter Garling's inquiry into hospitals, doctors who continually fail to wash their hands will be disciplined, then dismissed."
Hand Hygiene Australia built on the work of recent research and identified the critical times when Hand Hygiene should be performed.

We will organise a time for Carmel to speak with members in 2009 about hand hygiene and infection control in health care settings.

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