E-Bulletin Dec 2011

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December 2011

Data Submission Dates

Please see audit period submission dates below:Period One 2012 – 30th March, 2012Period Two 2012 – 30th June, 2012Period Three 2012 – 30th October, 2012As a reminder submissions will not be accepted into HHCApp after midnight on the above dates.

5th May 2012

What are your plans for 5th May 2012? Possibly you will be at home, because 5th May 2012 falls on a Saturday! So just an early alert to keep that in mind as you start to think about any activities you are planning. Of course they can happen any time around the 5th May!

World Health Organisation Award

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently awarded Hand Hygiene Australia and Austin Health the ‘Hand Hygiene Centre for Excellence’ award in a special presentation on November 9th 2011. This award sees Hand Hygiene Australia become one of four centres to be honoured worldwide. The award not only recognises the ground breaking and national leadership work done by Hand Hygiene Australia but also the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) in implementing the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI).Hand Hygiene Australia would like to acknowledge the hard work of all those involved in the NHHI in hospitals across Australia. Participation in the NHHI requires leadership, collaboration, education, data collection, collation analysis and feedback. The dedication of all those involved in infection prevention contributed significantly to the success of the NHHI.See pictures of the event and more detail on the HHA website HERE

HHA Staff News

Mr Paul Simpson has left HHA to pursue a role at The Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne as the manager of Infection Control Department. Paul will greatly missed from our team and we wish Paul all the best in his new role. Sally Havers will the take up the role as the Coordinator for Private sector.

Gold Standard Auditor Forums

Based on the success of the last round of Gold Standard Auditor Forums, HHA are planning another round of forums in each state and territory. Keep an eye on the HHA website and in future e-bulletins for dates and venues. These forums are open to all GSA and general auditors. If you have any particular issue you would like discussed at your local forum please email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Asia Pacific Hand Hygiene Excellence Award

Congratulations to Southern Health, Victoria for receiving the inaugural Asia Pacific Hand Hygiene Excellence Award presented by Professor Didier Pittet at APSIC. The award recognises the efforts of Elizabeth Gillespie, Rhonda Stuart and the team at Southern Health for their excellent hand hygiene program.


HHA Coordinators are able to provide Gold Standard and Auditor training workshops in your areaThe calendar for 2012 is already filling up so check the website for workshops dates and venues for a workshop near you. If you are considering hosting a workshop or require more information please get in touch your local state or private sector coordinator. Contact details on website.   HHA Coordinators are also available to provide general hand hygiene education for HCWs. Contact your local coordinator to discuss the educational needs of your facility.

Primary Care Facilities

HHA was recently represented at a WHO meeting of expert groups to develop draft guidelines for hand hygiene in primary and non acute healthcare settings. HHA will use the WHO guidelines as a basis to develop guidelines for the Australian setting. HHA will facilitate an Australian working group which will assist in this process.

APSIC 2011

HHA was well represented at the conference held in Melbourne in November. Phil Russo was an invited speaker and presented an ‘Update in the NHHI’. Paul Simpson presented the results of a gender survey titled “His and Her Hand Hygiene”, Kate Ryan presented on “Comparison of the National hand hygiene compliance rates between Metro, Regional and Rural healthcare facilities.” HHA also had 4 posters and a booth at the conference. Hand hygiene was discussed in many sessions during the conference by speakers from all round the world creating much discussion. We thank all of you who visited our booth or spoke with our team members during the conference.

Hand Hygiene in the Medical Journal of Australia

The article “Outcomes from the first 2 years of the Australian National Hand Hygiene Initiative” was recently published - MJA 195 (10) 21 November 2011.

Objective: To report outcomes from the first 2 years of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI), a hand hygiene (HH) culture-change program implemented in all Australian hospitals to improve health care workers’ HH compliance, increase use of alcohol-based hand rub and reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.

Design and setting: The HH program was based on the World Health

Organization 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene program, and included standardised educational materials and a regular audit system of HH compliance. The NHHI was implemented in January 2009.

Main outcome measures: HH compliance and Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) incidence rates 2 years after NHHI implementation.

Results: In late 2010, the overall national HH compliance rate in 521 hospitals was 68.3% (168 641/246 931 moments), but HH compliance before patient contact was 10%–15% lower than after patient contact. Among sites new to the 5 Moments audit tool, HH compliance improved from 43.6% (6431/14740) at baseline to 67.8% (106 851/157 708) (P < 0.001). HH compliance was highest among nursing staff (73.6%; 116 851/158 732) and worst among medical staff (52.3%; 17 897/34 224) after 2 years. National incidence rates of methicillin resistant SAB were stable for the 18 months before the NHHI (July 2007–2008; P = 0.366), but declined after implementation (2009–2010; P = 0.008). Annual national rates of hospital-onset SAB per 10 000 patient-days were 1.004 and 0.995 in 2009 and 2010, respectively, of which about 75% were due to methicillin-susceptible S. aureus.

Conclusions: The NHHI was associated with widespread sustained improvements in HH compliance among Australian health care workers.

Although specific linking of SAB rate changes to the NHHI was not possible, further declines in national SAB rates are expected.

The full article and supplement is available for viewing here

Xmas Hours

HHA head office will close from 23rd December 2011 and re-open 9th January 2012.

HHA would like to thank you all for your ongoing support and we wish you all very Merry Christmas and safe and healthy new year.