18 Mar Australia’s National Hand Washing Audit Result
We put our lives in the hands of hospital emergency staff every day, but worrying new statistics have revealed… they may be dirty ones.
The national handwashing audit, run by Hand Hygiene Australia as part of a federal Government push to cut deadly hospital acquired infections, found that only 77 percent of hospital emergency staff were compliant with hand hygiene standards.
What’s worse, the findings come just after NSW was found to have a 34 percent increase in the number of gastro cases over the last year.
“Hand hygiene in emergency departments is lower than elsewhere and that’s not good,” Professor Lindsay Grayson, director of Hand Hygiene Australia, told News Corp.
“There is clear room for improvement.”
Between August 27 and September 2 alone, the recent outbreak of rotavirus and norovirus gastro virus has spread to another three NSW hospitals.
Ambulance workers also had a low compliance rate, at only 58 percent.
A total of 549 people have so far been affected, with the virus also spreading to 16 child care centres.
“Norovirus and rotavirus spread easily from person to person, particularly if hands are not carefully washed after using the toilet or before handling food,” Dr Vicky Sheppeard, spokeswoman for NSW Health, told News Corp.
The hand hygiene audit found that the safest wards were dental wards, transplant units and neonatal care, all of which had compliance rates above 90 percent.
Alarming rates of non-compliance were also found among ambulance workers, as only 58 percent of staff met hand hygiene standard