In the news 2013

New Zealand

Infection prevention and control week at Waikato DHB
New Zealand Doctor Online – 21 October 2013
The only thing spreading during Infection Prevention and Control Week at Waikato DHB this week (21-25 October) is important patient safety messages. Hand hygiene and reducing harm from surgical site infection are the focus for this year's Infection Prevention and Control Week, which the DHB holds annually to highlight the importance of keeping patients safe and free from infections.

Wash well, wash often
Southland Times – 16 October 2013
Global Hand Washing Day was yesterday and the Southern District Health Board staff are trying to get better at it. From CEO to frontline staff, the profile and commitment to improving hand hygiene has become more visible.

Hand Hygiene New Zealand moves into year three
New Zealand Doctor Online – 01 October 2013
Hand Hygiene New Zealand (HHNZ) will continue for a third year thanks to a newly extended partnership with the Health Quality & Safety Commission.

Staff yet to scrub up to global standard – 22 August 2013
Hand hygiene rates have improved among Marlborough and Nelson district health board staff, but they remain among the worst in the country.

DHBs show marked improvement in hand hygiene
New Zealand Doctor Online – 20 August 2013
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has congratulated district health boards on improving national hand hygiene rates.

Hand-hygiene lessons for hospital staff
Marlborough Express – 18 July 2013
Hospital staff in Marlborough and Nelson are being taught new hand-hygiene practices to make sure they meet World Health Organisation standards, district health board specialist services manager Pat Davidsen says.

Poor rate for hand washing
Marlborough Express – 10 July 2013
A quarterly performance survey released by the Health Quality and Safety Commission showed staff in the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board were falling short of minimum requirements for hand hygiene.

Gloves used in hospital wards often already contaminated
Otago Daily Times – 01 July 2013
Gloves used in hospital wards are often contaminated with bacteria before coming into contact with patients, a University of Otago study has found.

Study suggests inadequate hand hygiene practice
Health Canal – 01 July 2013
Gloves used commonly in general hospital wards throughout New Zealand are frequently contaminated with bacteria before coming into contact with patients, with poor glove box design and inadequate hand washing by hospital staff the likely culprits, a new University of Otago study has found.

Bugs spread by hospital gloves
TVNZ – 30 June 2013
Rubber gloves used by staff in New Zealand hospitals are spreading bugs that could potentially be fatal, new research shows.

Health staff not scrubbing up – 29 June 2013
Southern District Health Board staff don't wash their hands enough, figures show. A quarterly performance survey released by the Health Quality and Safety Commission this week shows staff in the southern health board are falling short of minimum requirements for hand hygiene.

Hospital's hand hygiene below par
Timaru Herald – 28 June 2013
Good hand hygiene comes up short at Timaru Hospital but falls risk assessments and use of perioperative checklists have come up trumps, according to a health report. 

WDHB scores high hand hygiene score
New Zealand Doctor Online – 07 May 2013
A rigorous hand hygiene audit of the country's 20 district health boards (DHBs) has seen Whanganui DHB score the second highest result for the four months ending 31 March.

Winter ills rub their hands
Herald on Sunday – 05 May 2012
Figures from the latest Health Quality and Safety Commission National Hand Hygiene report, conducted over four months, reveals medical practitioners across all district health boards had a poor rate of hand washing - 57.1 per cent.

*Please note this article incorrectly states that hospital chefs are audited and have a low hand hygiene compliance rate. HHNZ does not audit hand hygiene compliance of hospital chefs. The Herald on Sunday will be running a correction to rectify this on Sunday 12 May.

Patient participation vital for hand hygiene in health care: WHO – 04 May 2013
On the occasion of celebrating Hand Hygiene Day on May 5, the World Health Organization (WHO) encouraged patient participation for hand hygiene in health care.

Hospital hands pass the hygiene test
Manawatu Standard – 04 May 2013
Seven in 10 staff at Palmerston North Hospital are keeping their hands clean while working with patients - exceeding the national target for hand hygiene.

World Hand Hygiene Day: Clean hands save lives – 03 May 2013
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew says World Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May is an important reminder of the vital role hand hygiene plays in preventing harm to patients.

Visual campaign for hand hygiene in BOP – 03 May 2013
Over the next month, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board is putting visual emphasis on how hospital staff can stop the spread of infection by practicing good hand hygiene.

Dishing the dirt on hand hygiene
Nursing Review - Vol 12, Issue 12
Nursing Review has published a three page detailed article about hand hygiene behaviour in the nursing profession and the Hand Hygiene New Zealand programme. The article features commentary from HHNZ's Clinical Lead Dr Joshua Freeman, National Coordinator Louise Dawson and platinum auditors Christine Sieczkowski and Jo Stodart. Click on the title above to download the article or visit the Nursing Review website.



Infection Prevention Campaign Solicits Patient Participation
The Hospitalist Online – 18 December 2013
Initiative encourages hospital patients to question healthcare workers about hand hygiene habits

Why this doctor struggled to ask her daughter’s doctors to wash their hands
Ragan’s Healthcare Communication News – 26 November 2013
It’s a delicate subject. Do you encourage hand hygiene at your hospital?

Why You Need to Ask Doctors if they've Washed their Hands
Fox Business – 25 October 2013
When Cari Shane requested that her four-year-old’s pediatrician wash her hands before starting the exam, the doctor complied, but was upset. But Shane, who is a public relations executive, says if she were in the same position, she’d do the same thing all over again. “What was more important? Having the doctor mad at me or protecting the health of my child?”

Hospitals don't follow best hand-hygiene practices to reduce HAIs
FierceHealthcare – 24 October 2013
Although the majority of healthcare professionals surveyed say they are committed to reducing hospital-associated infections (HAI), only 30 percent are following the World Health Organization's (WHO) hand-hygiene guidelines, according to a DebMed survey announcement.

Dumfries hospital doctors miss hand hygiene target
BBC News – 09 October 2013
NHS Dumfries and Galloway has expressed its disappointment at its latest infection control figures. They showed that doctors at Dumfries Infirmary were still failing to meet basic hand hygiene standards.

Wards should decide own hand washing protocols to boost compliance
Nursing Times – 04 October 2013
Trusts should abandon rigid, organisation-wide hand washing protocols in favour of allowing individual wards and teams to decide the approach that works best for them, according to a leading nurse turned NHS manager.

Peninsula College nursing students to demonstrate proper hand hygiene
Peninsula Daily News (USA) – 02 October 2013
Peninsula College nursing students will demonstrate proper hand washing and hand-sanitizing techniques in observance of World Hand Washing Day on Oct. 15.

Why Hospitals Want Patients to Ask Doctors, 'Have You Washed Your Hands?
The Wall Street Journal – 02 October 2013
Hospitals are encouraging patients to be more assertive, amid growing concern about infections that are resistant to antibiotics.

Hospitals should not make patients the hand-washing police
MedCity News – 02 October 2013
Hospitals struggle to get doctors and nurses to wash their hands. That’s a serious problem, since hand washing is one of the keys to reducing healthcare acquired infections that afflict more than a million patients a year and kill over 100,000. For the past few years I’ve heard suggestions that patients should take a more active role, and in fact have the responsibility to speak up. I strongly disagree.

DebMed to Present Efficacy of Electronic Monitoring of Hand Hygiene at IPS Conference in London
Infection Control Today – 30 September 2013
Recent scientific, clinical and economic rationale for improving hand hygiene have been studied, showing evidence that the typical way hand hygiene is monitored (direct observation) as well as the "two moments" practice of cleaning hands only at the entry and exit of a patient's room should no longer be the standard.

Hand hygiene – when and how should it be done?
Nursing Times – 20 September 2013
Changing hand hygiene practice among healthcare staff requires a multifaceted approach focusing on how and when hands should be cleaned. Requires you to be a subscriber to read.

We need to inject energy into promoting hand hygiene
Nursing Times – 20 September 2013
To prevent staff desensitisation, hand hygiene improvement approaches must evolve. This includes how we talk about the issue, promotional and training options available, the way we monitor and provide feedback on compliance, and a willingness to be open to new ideas and innovative approaches.

Applied Psychology Improves Hand Hygiene in Hospitals
The Hospitalist Online – 06 September 2013
While many hand hygiene initiatives have employed secret observers, vibrating badges, or hand-washing coaches; a multidisciplinary committee at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora applied principles of psychology to the challenge of compliance.

Hand hygiene: Two hundred years after Semmelweis we still have work to do
British Columbia Medical Journal – 07 September 2013
An article about hand hygiene initiatives in British Columbia health authorities.

Poor hospital hygiene: most doctors at Beaumont 'failed to wash their hands'
Irish Independent – 04 September 2013
PATIENTS’ health and welfare at a Dublin hospital were put at "serious risk" as a result of poor hygiene practice, a health watchdog has claimed.

Electronic monitoring helps nurses boost hand-washing compliance
FierceHealthIT – 30 August 2013
Electronic monitoring helped to dramatically improve hand hygiene among nurses in Canada, according to research published this month in the journal Computers, Informatics, Nursing.

Canadian researchers find success in using electronic monitoring to remind ...
National Post – 28 August 2013
Canadian researchers are equipping nurses with badges that buzz whenever the workers forget to wash their hands, part of a high-tech answer to a problem blamed for thousands of hospital deaths a year.

Study: Better Hand Hygiene Tied to 43% Decrease in Infection Rate
Becker’s Clinical Quality and Infection Control – 27 August 2013
A hand hygiene intervention that used positive deviance — learning successful strategies from people in the community — increased hand hygiene compliance by a third, which was associated with a 43.2 percent decrease in the incidence of medical device-associated infections per 1,000 patient-days, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Doctors are worst hand-hygiene offenders
FierceHealthcare – 27 August 2013
In the war to prevent hospital-acquired infections, nurses are better about washing their hands than doctors, a new study found.

Nurses are cleaner than doctors: study – 23 August 2013
Health workers are endangering patients by missing one in three opportunities to wash their hands, and doctors are the worst performers, says co-author of the study, Professor Mary-Louise McLaws.

WHO hand-hygiene compliance strategy easy for health-care workers to practise – 23 August 2013
WHO's strategy for improving hand hygiene is easy for health-care workers to practise, according to a new study published in the "Lancet Infectious Diseases".

Doctors fall behind nurses in hospital hand hygiene
Medical Xpress – 23 August 2013
Doctors lag behind nurses in hand hygiene in hospitals, despite widespread evidence that alcohol-based hand rub is the cheapest and most effective way to prevent infection, according to a new study.

Hospital staff who fail to wash hands put patients at risk
Irish Independent – 17 August 2013
Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) officials observed staff in the emergency department failing to comply with hand-washing rules in three-quarters of the instances witnessed.

Geriatric patients' participation in hand hygiene is studied
Infection Control Today – 27 July 2013
This study determined that patient participation in hand hygiene practices remains low among the elderly. Elderly patients can be taught correct self-use of alcohol-based hand rub, but reminding staff to comply remains quite difficult.

Study looks at implementing patient participation in hand hygiene
Infection Control Today – 27 July 2013
This study determined that for patient participation, the action of confronting another person about a failure became less emotionally menacing through positive experiences, innovative means of communication, and institutionalization of the project. Individual leadership engagement had a major impact on implementation success.

Coast hospitals blitz national hygiene benchmark
The Sunshine Coast Daily – 08 July 2013
Hand hygiene was rated according to how often hands were washed before and after seeing patients. The national benchmark was 70%, which both Nambour and Gympie blitzed at more than 75%. Caloundra was on par with the national benchmark.

Hospital targets tiny hands
London Community News – 02 July 2013
A new program at a London hospital is targeting easily preventable infections in young patients.

HMC team promotes hand hygiene
Gulf News (Qatar) – 02 July 2013 
The infection control team at HMC has successfully completed a week-long campaign to promote hand hygiene compliance in the corporation.

Investigators Report on HH Instruction in Medical Students' Early Education
Infection Control Today – 01 July 2013
Semmelweis University (SU) in Budapest has adapted a digital tool to effectively teach proper hand disinfection technique to medical students.

Hospitals seek high-tech help for hand hygiene
Sci-Tech Today (USA) – 01 July 2013
For health-care workers, hand washing has been called the "single most important" thing they can do to ensure the welfare of patients, yet hospital-borne infections kill tens of thousands of Americans each year. Now, new high-tech systems are being employed, using beepers, buzzers, lights and tracking systems that remind workers to sanitize.

Rhonda Stuart & Claire Dendle: Wash up
MJA InSight – 24 June 2013
This article highlights findings of a new study that examined doctors’ attitudes and perceptions about the importance of hand hygiene and how they would feel about being asked or asking, fellow doctors about cleaning their hands.

City hospital wins 'clean hands' prize (Dublin) – 13 June 2013
DUBLIN'S Mater Private Hospital is the top hospital in Europe when it comes to clean hands.

Health staff take a hand in better hygiene
ABC News (Australia) – 07 June 2013
Gold Coast Health is encouraging staff to wash their hands more often in an effort to make the new University Hospital the cleanest and safest in Australia.

Hospitals use cameras, sensor tags to track hand washing
Computerworld – 31 May 2013
With nightmarish superbugs threatening the lives of patients and healthcare workers, hospitals are taking considerable precautions to track who is and who isn't washing their hands.

With money at risk, hospitals push staff to wash hands
New York Times – 28 May 2013
At North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, motion sensors, like those used for burglar alarms, go off every time someone enters an intensive care room. The sensor triggers a video camera, which transmits its images halfway around the world to India, where workers are checking to see if doctors and nurses are performing a critical procedure: washing their hands.

NHS Trust uses Gangnam Style to promote hand hygiene
The Huffington Post (UK) – 22 May 2013
Doctors, nurses, receptionists, porters and other hospital staff dance to 'Use this hand wash style' – an alternative to the popular hit song 'Gangnam Style'.

Walton Centre staff go mad for hand hygiene
The Liverpool Echo – 22 May 2013
The specialist neuroscience trust’s Infection Control team held a Mad Hatter’s-style tea party to raise awareness of hand hygiene during National Hand Hygiene Day.

Study: Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance Reduces MRSA, Saves Money
Becker’s Hospital Review – 22 May 2013
Increasing hand hygiene compliance in a children's hospital neonatal intensive care unit reduced methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus acquisition 48 percent, leading to a savings of $66,397 in hospital charges per month, according to a study in American Journal of Infection Control.

You’ve got to hand it to them
Merimbula News (NSW) – 22 May 2013
It was international hand hygiene day on May 5 and while it may have gone unnoticed by many, for Kelly Row, of the Southern NSW Local Health District, who is in charge of infection control for Bega Valley, it was a very important day.

The group most in need of hand hygiene
The Huffington Post (Canada) – 05 May 2013
On May 5th, the WHO will be celebrating its annual SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands day to mark its campaign to help save lives from infections in healthcare.

Hand hygiene plea to cut infection rates in Scotland
BBC News – 04 May 2013
Hand washing for 15 seconds at a time is key to preventing infections such as the norovirus, Scottish health chiefs have said. Chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns and chief nursing officer Ros Moore issued the reminder on Global Hand Hygiene Day.

Scottish CNO launches campaign to improve handwashing
Nursing Times – 04 May 2013
To coincide with Global Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May, Scotland's CNO Ros Moore and chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns are urging people to follow a few simple steps to help reduce the spread of infections.

Hand Hygiene Day: WHO encourages patients, family members to practice good hand hygiene
News Medical – 03 May 2013
On Hand Hygiene Day (5 May), the World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging patients and their family members to join health workers in their efforts to practice good hand hygiene.

Researchers Study Behavioural Theory Approach to Understand Barriers to Physician Hand Hygiene
Infection Control Today – 02 March 2013
Compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers, specifically among physicians, is consistently suboptimal. In an upcoming study, Squires, et al. (2013) aim to first identify the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance, and then to develop and pilot a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to increase physicians’ compliance with best hand hygiene practice.