In accordance with Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) National Standard 3.5, health service organisations need to implement and support a hand hygiene program that is consistent with the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI).
A key part of the NHHI is the auditing and feedback of health care workers’ hand hygiene compliance results. Other components include education and awareness that highlights the importance of hand hygiene in the health care environment. National Standards require health services to:
- Have alcohol-based hand rubs and hand washing facilities available to all staff, patients and visitors;
- Establish, maintain and review a hand hygiene awareness program for all staff;
- Monitor hand hygiene audits and act on the results.
The NSW Health Hand Hygiene policy (PD2010_058) outlines the specific hand hygiene practices required by any person working within NSW Health, to minimise the risk of patients, visitors and staff acquiring a HAI. It identifies when staff must perform hand hygiene and requires the use of alcohol based hand rubs for most instances of hand hygiene during patient care. Hand washing with liquid soap and water is recommended for situations when hands are visibly soiled, or when caring for a patient with C. difficile or norovirus.
This document should be read in conjunction with NSW Health Infection Control Policy PD2007_036