​NSLHD Staff pledge commitment to hand hygiene

 Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) hospital staff pledged a commitment to life saving hand hygiene on Thursday, 5 May, reinforcing the importance of clean hands in health care.

NSLHD used World Hand Hygiene Day to encourage health care workers, patients and visitors to practice good hand hygiene and help prevent healthcare associated infections by half.

The national requirement for hand hygiene rates is 70 per cent and NSLHD has an average record of 80.9 per cent.

To prove our ongoing commitment to raising this rate, we are asking staff to sign a pledge to clean hands at the right time and in the right way.

The pledge is focused on improving patient safety across all hospitals in NSLHD and states: "I will always perform best practice hand hygiene as a demonstration of respect for my patients".

Hospital staff are reminded that there are five key moments when they should clean their hands:

1. Before touching a patient

2. Before clean/aseptic procedures

3. After body fluid exposure/risk

4. After touching a patient

5. After touching a patient's surroundings.

These are important for those visiting patients in hospital too.

NSLHD Chief Executive, Adjunct Associate Professor Vicki Taylor, said patient safety was a serious matter and the pledge by staff should not be taken lightly.

"We are always looking for ways to improve patient safety so that our patients can return to their loves and normal lives.

"By our staff signing this pledge on World Hand Hygiene Day, we are publicly declaring the priority placed on patient safety and the important role clean hands has in reducing the rate of healthcare associated infections," Adj Assoc Prof Taylor said.