Costing the Australian National Hand Hygiene Initiative

Page, Katie, Barnett, Adrian, Campbell, Megan, Brain, David, Martin, Elizabeth, Fulop, Naomi, & Graves, Nicholas (2014) Costing the Australian National Hand Hygiene Initiative. Journal of Hospital Infection, 88(3), pp. 141-148.

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The Australian National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) is a major patient safety programme co-ordinated by Hand Hygiene Australia (HHA) and funded by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care. The annual costs of running this programme need to be understood to know the cost-effectiveness of a decision to sustain it as part of health services.


To estimate the annual health services cost of running the NHHI; the set-up costs are excluded.


A health services perspective was adopted for the costing and collected data from the 50 largest public hospitals in Australia that implemented the initiative, covering all states and territories. The costs of HHA, the costs to the state-level infection-prevention groups, the costs incurred by each acute hospital, and the costs for additional alcohol-based hand rub are all included.


The programme cost AU$5.56 million each year (US$5.76, £3.63 million). Most of the cost is incurred at the hospital level (65%) and arose from the extra time taken for auditing hand hygiene compliance and doing education and training. On average, each infection control practitioner spent 5 h per week on the NHHI, and the running cost per annum to their hospital was approximately AU$120,000 in 2012 (US$124,000, £78,000).


Good estimates of the total costs of this programme are fundamental to understanding the cost-effectiveness of implementing the NHHI. This paper reports transparent costing methods, and the results include their uncertainty.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 88590
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Costs; Economics; Hand hygiene; Infection control
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhin.2014.06.005
ISSN: 0195-6701
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Healthcare Infection Society
Deposited On: 08 Nov 2015 23:00
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2015 23:00

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