Hospital hand hygiene claims rejected

CLAIMS staff at Lismore Base Hospital fail to wash their hands often enough have been firmly rejected by the Northern NSW Local Heath District.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph today reported Lismore was one of six hospitals ranked among the bottom 20 in Australia for good hand-washing practices, according to information posted on the myhospitals website.

Richmond Clarence Health Service Group executive director Vahid Saberi said the figures were based on hand hygiene audits done three times a year, in March, June, and October, and the results referred to by the Telegraph related to the October 2011 audit.

Mr Saberi did not dispute the figures, but said hospital management had acted immediately on the poor October result and had met a 70% compliance target set in this month's audit.

"As it is often said, washing our hands is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of disease," Mr Saberi said.

"Visitors and patients can also play an important role in improving hand hygiene compliance and reducing the risk of disease and infection."

Mr Saberi said staff and visitors to the hospital had access to alcohol-based hand rubs and signs promoting hand hygiene were located throughout all North Coast hospitals.



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