World Hand Hygiene Day- 05 May

World Hand Hygiene Day is nearly here! This year’s 5 May theme from the World Health Organization (WHO) is:

Strengthening healthcare systems and delivery – hand hygiene is your entrance door.

The theme emphasizes the importance of hand hygiene action in demonstrating overall quality of care within health-care facilities (WHO, 2015).

This year the WHO is calling for healthcare facilities to “Take this opportunity to show your colleagues, your country and the world what a strong quality indicator of care hand hygiene is” and to “Take the opportunity to commemorate all that has happened around the world over these last 10 years”.

For more information about the topic or how you can support the WHO’s global call to action, visit the World Health Organization’s 5 May website.

If you are looking for ideas and inspiration to drive your DHB’s WHHD planning for 5 May 2015 take a look at some of the suggestions below as a way to kick start your thinking.

Suggestions from the WHO

  • Show your commitment to the 5 May campaign and use the WHO’s social media hashtag #safeHANDS. Take a photo of staff holding a WHO #safeHANDS promotional board and post via social media channels.
  • Arrange a hand sanitizing relay in your DHB and try to break the world record (held by the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital with 277 participants: see for more info).
  • Register with the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign now if you haven’t already and you are taking part in any of the activities. Encourage others to do the same.
  • Check out and use the new #safeHANDS WHO promotional video (coming soon).

Suggestions from HHNZ


  • Let the WHO know what you have been doing and how you have achieved hand hygiene improvement at your DHB. Draft a short profile detailing your improvement journey. Celebrate your successes and share within your DHB and with the WHO to let everyone know where you started and how far you have come.
  • Work with your DHB’s communications team to develop a media release in support of World Hand Hygiene Day and highlight your key achievements.
  • Utilise HHNZ’s promotional resources to increase awareness about the importance of hand hygiene:
  • Ask your chief executive, chief medical officer and/or director of nursing to send an email to all staff on 5 May, highlighting the importance of hand hygiene and celebrating your DHB’s efforts to date.


  • Promote HHNZ’s online hand hygiene learning package. Hold a prize draw competition to encourage healthcare workers to refresh their hand hygiene knowledge on 5 May by completing the online learning package. Compete with other DHBs in your region and see who has the most healthcare workers completing the package.
  • Participate in the WHO’s hand sanitizer relay! Remember to take a video or photos.
  • Hold a ward competition to promote good hand hygiene practice – E.g. the ward with the most correct moments collected by a gold auditor during a ten minute period wins a team morning tea/lunch/supper.
  • Design a hand hygiene poster – the winning poster could then be professionally designed and used within your DHB.


  • Hold 10-15 minute hand hygiene refresher workshops on wards during World Hand Hygiene Day or throughout the week leading up to it. Take morning/afternoon tea with you. Make it short and snappy, focusing on what the moments are and why each is important. Hand out HHNZ healthcare worker promotional leaflets/5 moments posters.
  • Hold two 30 minute ‘open’ presentations for any healthcare staff to attend. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. Show a short video clip highlighting the impact that healthcare associated infections caused by poor hand hygiene can have on patients and their families, discuss hand hygiene compliance results for your DHB, promote the 5 moments for hand hygiene and why they are important, put out a call to action for all those who attend.


  • Place hand hygiene promotional displays throughout your hospital in pertinent high traffic areas for healthcare workers. Have a person or two man the displays, giving away leaflets and appropriate pocket sized hand rub solution.

Other promotional activities:

  • Locate human hand hygiene dispensers throughout your hospital (make it fun and dress them up as germs/big hand rub bottles if you like!). Arm them with appropriate hand rub solution and hand hygiene/5 moments promotional fliers and encourage them to briefly stop healthcare workers to tell them about WHHD, and good hand hygiene practice. Complete with a squirt of hand rub or give away an appropriate pocket sized hand rub solution.
  • Put together and give out hand hygiene stickers and balloons.
  • Design hand hygiene t-shirts for your WHHD team to wear.
  • Find some fun and educational video clips and display them in high foot traffic areas for healthcare workers.

Making sure you promote your plans within your DHB well before the day will help to ensure a successful response on the day. Ways to do this may include writing a short article for your DHB’s intranet or staff newsletter. You might like to consider putting up posters or leaflets to publicise your chosen events or competitions, or distribute fliers. Make sure you speak with your DHB’s communications team to see what ideas they may have, and to find out how they can assist you to publicise your events, as well as promote your key messages about hand hygiene on the day.