As part of the World Health Organisation's First Gobal Patient Safety Challenge, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has established the National Hand Hygiene Initiative and engaged Hand Hygiene Australia to implement a culture-change program into all health services throughout Australia.
South Australia is supporting this initiative by including hand hygiene compliance as a key performance indicator of patient safety and quality of health care delivery. Hand hygiene is a key strategy in the prevention of health care associated infection.
HAND HYGIENE DEFINITIONS
Hand hygiene is a term that applies to the process of hand washing or hand decontamination.
Hand washing involves mechanically removing transient organisms from hands with soap and water.
Hand decontamination reduces the number of both transient and resident micro-organisms on the hands. This is accomplished by either washing with antimicrobial soap and water or application of an alcohol or alcohol/chlorhexidine based hand rub.
HAND HYGIENE MOMENTS
'Moments' or opportunities for hand hygiene are based on those defined by the World Health Organisation Guidelines on Hand Hygiene. A 'moment' is when there is a perceived or actual risk of pathogen transmission from one surface (or patient) to another via the hands.
The 5 Moments for hand hygiene are:
Moment 1: Before touching a patient
Moment 2: Before a procedure
Moment 3: After a procedure or body fluid exposure risk
Moment 4: After touching a patient
Moment 5: After touching a patient’s surroundings