Hospital group puts hands up for hygiene

Taking part in a burlesque flash mob to promote hand hygiene at Dunedin Hospital are (from left)...
Taking part in a burlesque flash mob to promote hand hygiene at Dunedin Hospital are (from left) Southern District Health Board charge nurse Jo Stodart, mental health kaioranga hauora Nadina Mabon, Schulke New Zealand sales manager Anna Page, IT applications specialist Lydia Simpson and clinical nurse specialist Rebecca Aburn. Photo: Christine O'Connor.
When it comes to fighting antibiotic resistance, medical experts say the answer is in our hands.

Good hand hygiene can reduce healthcare-associated infections and prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance micro-organisms within health settings.

So what better way to spread the hand hygiene message than by having a burlesque flash mob singing and waving their "jazz hands" in a dance to show members of the public how to clean their hands properly.

Dunedin Hospital staff members surprised visitors with the hand hygiene flash mob in the hospital foyer yesterday morning, to celebrate and raise awareness of World Hand Hygiene Day.

The day was co-ordinated by the World Health Organisation and the theme aligned with the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s national hand hygiene programme.

Southern District Health Board Infection Prevention and Control charge nurse Jo Stodart said the best way patients, family and visitors could help stop the spread of infections was by cleaning their hands and asking everyone around them to do the same.

The SDHB is encouraging all its healthcare workers to use World Hand Hygiene Day as an opportunity to refresh their hand hygiene knowledge and re-pledge to make it a priority, she said.

Displays were put up, reminding staff and visitors about the World Health Organisation’s "five moments for hand hygiene", which requires hand hygiene to be completed before patient contact, before a procedure, after a procedure or body fluid exposure risk, after patient contact, and after contact with patient surroundings, irrespective of whether or not gloves are used.

"The five moments of hand hygiene are simple and easy but everyone needs to be reminded about the importance of these," she said.

Health Quality and Safety Commission quality director Tina Gilbertson said figures in the latest Hand Hygiene New Zealand audit showed the SDHB was achieving 83.3% hand hygiene compliance.

"The figures reflect our ongoing dedication and commitment to the welfare of patients and the public," she said.

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