Members of the Renal Service at Waikato DHB are making good
hand hygiene part of their daily routine.

Waikato District Health Board
Ward of the Quarter–May 2013

The Renal service at Waikato District Health Board (DHB) is leading the way when it comes to improving hand hygiene. After fully embracing the importance of hand hygiene to patient safety, compliance is up and good hand hygiene practice is now part of their daily routine.

“Renal staff are shining stars when it comes to hand hygiene,” says Vicki Parry, charge nurse manager of Infection control and hand hygiene coordinator at Waikato DHB.

“They have totally committed to performing excellent hand hygiene and regard it as a very important responsibility.”

Starting out in 2011 with baseline performance rates of between 30 and 40 per cent, each of the three areas within Renal celebrated hand hygiene performance rates of between 72 to 80 per cent in the year to May 2013.

“The Renal team have taken complete ownership of improving hand hygiene. They have strong leadership and support from management and are tremendous role models,” says Vicki.

“They lead by example, not only by actively practicing good hand hygiene themselves, but by setting and enforcing the standard of hand hygiene expected within their clinical area.”

The Regional Renal Centre designed a notice board that is used for infection control and hand hygiene awareness and education. This won Waikato DHB’s infection control notice board competition last year, as part of their infection control and hand hygiene week.

A move into new facilities didn’t reduce hand hygiene efforts either.

“After moving into their new facilities, Renal was eager to ensure that hand hygiene was not affected,” says Vicki.

“They took immediate ownership, placing hand rub at each bedside, as well as on their purpose made trolleys without any prompts from the infection control team.”

The level of commitment is so impressive, says Vicki, that the infection control team use Renal as an outstanding example of how good hand hygiene can be achieved and maintained, when they present hand hygiene education sessions to other clinical areas.

“It is evident that good hand hygiene practice is second nature to them now. They absolutely deserve to be recognised for all their hard work,” says Vicki.