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Data release: Hand hygiene (explanatory notes)

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Hand hygiene rates

‘Hand hygiene’ is a measure of the extent to which health care workers clean their hands before and while caring for patients, either by washing in soap and water or by using other products such as disinfectant gels.

Good hand hygiene practices are described by Hand Hygiene Australia as the single most important strategy in preventing healthcare-associated infections.

Updated information is available on hand hygiene rates for Audit Period 1, ending March 2015 for 638 hospitals (474 public and 164 private) and Audit Period 2, ending June 2015 for 620 hospitals (467 public and 153 private). Hand hygiene rates measure hand washing before and while caring for patients using soap and water or gel disinfectants to stop the spread of bacteria. Although not nationally comparable, hand hygiene information helps to drive quality improvement in hospitals.

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