Monitoring and reporting of hand hygiene

WA Health is a long-term supporter of initiatives to reduce healthcare associated infections in WA hospitals.

Western Australia was among the first states to publicly report detailed data about hand hygiene. WA Health is committed to informing the WA public about hospital performance in this area.

Current research shows that the public reporting of hospital and health system performance can promote improvement in hand hygiene compliance.

We will continue to communicate with our staff to ensure safe and high quality health care for all Western Australians.

Reports on hand hygiene compliance rates

Caution should be exercised when using this data for comparison purposes, recognising that hospital activity varies between sites.

How to interpret the data

The hand hygiene data is shown in charts and tables, on pages listed below.

Coloured bars and numbers are used identify compliance.

On some charts small lines or 'confidence intervals' are shown. Confidence intervals identify the range in which true compliance may lie. Confidence intervals will vary depending on the amount of information collected.

When only a small amount of information is collected, the confidence interval is larger, as it is more difficult to establish the true compliance level from a small sample of information.

When larger amounts of information are collected the confidence interval will be smaller, meaning the reliability of the result is higher.

The confidence intervals on the charts show the true compliance range with 95 per cent accuracy.

Reports on hand hygiene

The auditing process

Our involvement with the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (external site) includes conducting 3 audits a year of healthcare worker hand hygiene practices.

This process uses a standard audit tool developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO has identified that making this information available to healthcare workers is essential in improving their hand hygiene practices.

In addition to the use of this local data by WA hospitals, hand hygiene compliance data has also been reported as part of the WA Health Department Healthcare Infections Surveillance Western Australia (HISWA) program since 2009.

Read more about the HISWA program and its quarterly infection surveillance reports (external site).

Produced by

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit