ACT News


Hand hygiene rate rises

Hospital staff in Canberra are getting better at hand hygiene. The latest statistics from an audit revealed the estimated rate of compliance in hand hygiene rose from 67.7 per cent between April to June last year to 72.5 per cent between July and October.

An ACT Health spokeswoman said hand-hygiene compliance remained a high priority at Canberra Hospital.

She said the number of health-care associated infections and multi-resistant organisms was generally below those reported by similar hospitals in other states. The latest figures were above the national benchmark of 70 per cent, she said.

''The hand-hygiene program is only one component of a comprehensive surveillance and intervention program,'' she said.

A study of hand hygiene in some of Australia's biggest hospitals found patients could be routinely exposed to potentially deadly infectious bugs by doctors who were not following proper hygiene procedures.

She said the ACT government acknowledged there was more work to be done to educate health professionals that hand washing was just as important in preventing the spread of disease and illness as other hygiene practices.