World Hand Hygiene Day- 05 May

In May 2014, the World Health Organization’s call to action for World Hand Hygiene Day encouraged activities that highlighted the importance of preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistant germs.

No action today; no cure tomorrow – make sure the WHO 5 Moments are part of protecting your patients from resistant germs.

HHNZ encourages all DHBs to continue promoting this important message on an ongoing basis. If you would like more information about the topic or how you can do this, visit the World Health Organization’s 5 May website.

If you are looking for ideas and inspiration to drive your DHB’s WHHD planning for 5 May 2015 take a look at some of the suggestions below as a way to kick start your thinking:


  • Hold a ward competition to promote good hand hygiene practice – E.g. the ward with the most correct moments collected by a gold auditor during a ten minute period wins a team morning tea/lunch/supper.
  • Design a hand hygiene poster – the winning poster could then be professionally designed and used within your DHB.
  • Use the UK National Patient Safety Agency Wi-Five online game – the person with the highest score wins a prize. See the five moments game on the Testing Yourself section of the HHNZ website.


  • Hold 10-15 minute hand hygiene refresher workshops on wards during World Hand Hygiene Day or throughout the week leading up to it. Take morning/afternoon tea with you. Make it short and snappy, focusing on what the moments are and why each is important. Hand out HHNZ healthcare worker promotional leaflets/5 moments posters.
  • Hold two 30 minute ‘open’ presentations for any healthcare staff to attend. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. Show a short video clip highlighting the impact that healthcare associated infections caused by poor hand hygiene can have on patients and their families, discuss hand hygiene compliance results for your DHB, promote the 5 moments for hand hygiene and why they are important, put out a call to action for all those who attend.


  • Place hand hygiene promotional displays throughout your hospital in pertinent high traffic areas for healthcare workers. Have a person or two man the displays, giving away leaflets and appropriate pocket sized hand rub solution.

Other promotional activities:

  • Locate human hand hygiene dispensers throughout your hospital (make it fun and dress them up as germs/big hand rub bottles if you like!). Arm them with appropriate hand rub solution and hand hygiene/5 moments promotional fliers and encourage them to briefly stop healthcare workers to tell them about WHHD, and good hand hygiene practice. Complete with a squirt of hand rub or give away an appropriate pocket sized hand rub solution.
  • Put together and give out hand hygiene stickers and balloons.
  • Design hand hygiene t-shirts for your WHHD team to wear.
  • Find some fun and educational video clips and display them in high foot traffic areas for healthcare workers.
  • Ask your CEO or CMO to send an email to all staff highlighting the importance of hand hygiene.  You can help by providing a basic template for the email which they can then make their own before sending.

Making sure you promote your plans within your DHB well before the day will help to ensure a successful response on the day. Ways to do this may include writing a short article for your DHB’s intranet or staff newsletter. You might like to consider putting up posters or leaflets to publicise your chosen events or competitions, or distribute fliers. Make sure you speak with your DHB’s communications team to see what ideas they may have, and to find out how they can assist you to publicise your events, as well as promote your key messages about hand hygiene on the day.