Changes in healthcare-associated infections after the introduction of a national hand hygiene initiative

Barnett, Adrian G., Page, Katie, Campbell, Megan, Brain, David, Martin, Elizabeth, Winters, Shirley, Hall, Lisa, Paterson, David, & Graves, Nicholas (2014) Changes in healthcare-associated infections after the introduction of a national hand hygiene initiative. Healthcare Infection, 19(4), pp. 128-134.

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Abstract

Introduction: Interventions that prevent healthcare-associated infections should lead to fewer deaths and shorter hospital stays. Cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol rub is an effectiveway to prevent the transmission of organisms, but compliance is sometimes low. The National Hand Hygiene Initiative in Australia aimed to improve hand hygiene compliance among healthcare workers, with the goal of reducing rates of healthcare-associated infections.

Methods: We examined if the introduction of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative was associated with a change in infection rates. Monthly infection rates for six types of healthcare-associated infections were examined in 38 Australian hospitals across six states. Infection categories were: bloodstream infections, centralline associated bloodstream infections, methicillin-resistant and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia and surgical site infections.

Results: The National Hand Hygiene Initiative was associated with a statistically significant reduction in infection rates in 11 out of 23 state and infection combinations studied. There was no change in infection rates for nine combinations, and there was an increase in three infection rates in South Australia.

Conclusions: The intervention was associated with reduced infection rates in many cases. The lack of improvement in nine cases may have been because they already had effective initiatives before the national initiative’s introduction.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 79382
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: hand hygiene, infection rates, healthcare associated infections, intervention, nosocomial
DOI: 10.1071/HI14033
ISSN: 1835-5625
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Infectious Diseases (110309)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control 2014
Deposited On: 11 Dec 2014 01:21
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 02:51

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