It’s a scary thought going into hospital, a place most of us would try and avoid. It’s a place of endless testing, bad lighting, hushed tones and terrible food. Though they make us better right? Surely they make us better! Unfortunately over 200, 000 healthcare associated infections (HAI) occur every year within Australian hospitals.
A HAI is defined as ‘an infection occurring in a patient during the process of care in a hospital or other health-care facility that was not manifest or incubating at the time of admission’. So this would suggest that hospital treatment may negatively impact the outcome of a patient’s health? Scary Stuff!
Recent research has shown that the simple process of washing your hands can significantly reduce the risk of HAI’s. Improving hand hygiene amongst healthcare workers is considered the main driver in reducing healthcare associated infections. Surprisingly Doctors have one of the lowest compliance rates in relation to hand hygiene (67.9%), while nurses and midwifes scored an average 84.1%.
Professor Nicholas Graves, a health economist from the Queensland University of Technology and a Keynote Speaker at our upcoming conference on ‘Preventing & Controlling Infection – complying with Standard 3’ has recently completed a National Initiative that aimed to assess the impact of hand hygiene on infection. The initiative measured what factors were important for the success of the program and whether it was good value for the money spent. It addressed key issues such as the examination of resources within hospitals, the level of knowledge about hand hygiene amongst healthcare workers and the overall cost of implementing the initiative within hospitals.