Lifelike cut-outs spread the word

Lifelike cut-outs of hospital staff will be popping up around the Cameron Road premises and in Whakatane Hospital this month to help spread the word about hand hygiene.

In preparation for World Hand Hygiene Day on Sunday, May 5 Bay of Plenty District Health Board has organised an innovative campaign to promote the message.

Registered nurse Traci Reihana and cleaner Jenny Faulkner with their cut outs. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

Good hand hygiene prevents the transmission of harmful microorganisms between patients or between different parts of a patient’s body, says BOPDHB director of nursing Julie Robinson.

“We want to get this serious clinical message across to our staff, patients and public in a fun way, so we have identified staff who practice good hand hygiene and have had full-sized photographs of them made.”

Julie says during the next four weeks cut-outs of cleaners, allied health workers, nurses and doctors will pop-up throughout both Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals.

Infection control clinical nurse specialist Robyn Boyne says it is well recognised from studies that hand hygiene is the single most important thing to prevent the spread of infection in a hospital.

“Washing with alcohol gel is preferable as it is quick and easy but there are circumstances where soap and water is also required.”

The World Health Organisation has a huge push each year to celebrate International Hand Hygiene Day.

“Along with that, we have a programme called the Five Moments for Hand Hygiene - based on the WHO programme of the same name.

“This is done throughout the country and it is an auditable process to encourage staff to clean their hands at the right time.”
She says while they know staff clean their hands a lot, some of them may not be doing it at the right time.

“The Five Moments for Hand Hygiene is designed to protect the patient by encouraging staff to clean their hands at the times when it is most important to prevent the spread of infection.”
Staff are audited on their hand hygiene practices. This involves them being observed and recorded on a smart phone, which is then sent to a database in Auckland.

Robyn says she and other auditors go around and observe and monitor whether people are doing it at the right time.

“It is all to protect patients, especially those whose immune systems are compromised.

“We know is some cases hand hygiene is implicated when some people get infections when they did not have when they came into hospital.”

The Five Moments of Hand Hygiene are:

*Moment one is before a staff member touches a patient. They should clean their hands immediately before contact.

*Moment two is before a procedure. So if a staff member is going to do something on a patient that is deemed a procedure, then they need to have cleaned their hand immediately before starting.

*Moment three is after a procedure or a body fluid exposure. If they have touched something yucky, they have to clean their hands immediately after.

*Moment four is after patient contact. So once they have finished dealing with a patient, they need to clean their hands before they leave.

*Moment five is if you touch things in a patient’s room you need to clean your hands after you leave.

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