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National Hand Hygiene Initiative

In 2019–20, the Commission resumed direct responsibility for the coordination, support and management of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative. Good hand hygiene practice is one of the most important ways to reduce healthcare-associated infections. This work includes data validation for the national audits, national reporting of hand hygiene compliance, support for learning management systems for infection prevention and hand hygiene, and support for the health workforce through the operation of the National Hand Hygiene Initiative helpdesk.

More than 1,100 organisations participate in the National Hand Hygiene Initiative and provide more than 700,000 ‘moments’ of hand hygiene each audit period. The most recent completed audit of national hand hygiene compliance indicated an overall compliance of 85.7%, exceeding the national benchmark of 80%.

The Commission continues to work closely with the states and territories, and the private sector to identify opportunities to refine the National Hand Hygiene Initiative, to support better integration with other infection prevention and control strategies, to support clinicians in their continual learning about infection prevention and control, and to enable further automation and efficiencies in the auditing process for hand hygiene compliance.