The number of Dunedin Hospital doctors washing their hands
leapt by 20% in the latest "hand hygiene audit".
The compliance rate for Dunedin doctors was 60% in the
October audit, compared with just 40% in the previous check,
carried out in the middle of the year.
For all staff, compliance was 63%, an increase of about 10%
on the previous audit.
The result is closer to the national target of 70%
compliance, and placed the Southern District Health Board
10th of the 20 district health boards.
There is no hand-washing audit at Southland Hospital.
Hand washing can be performed with water, or by applying an
Infection control clinical leader Dr Jill Wolfgang said the
October audit was a significant improvement.
"Although still below the national target of 70% compliance
with the five moments [when workers must wash their hands],
it is a notable increase ...
"Physicians, in particular, have shown an improvement, which
Changing the institutional culture around hand-washing was a
gradual process, Dr Wolfgang said through a spokeswoman.
Hand washing is being promoted in the health sector by the
Health Quality and Safety Commission to reduce
In October, the top-performing board reported 77% compliance,
and the lowest 43.4%. The boards are not identified.
In August, board member Richard Thomson branded the national
target "really grot", as it sent the wrong message to health