National hand hygiene initiative

Close up of hands rubbing together whilst washing

The WA Health Department and WA public hospitals have participated in the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) since 2009. The initiative is a program developed by the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare (external site) to improve hand hygiene in Australian hospitals.

A major part of the initiative is to regularly observe and audit the hand hygiene practices of healthcare workers while they care for patients. This information is then fed back to them to help them improve their hand hygiene practices.

Hand hygiene Australia

Hand Hygiene Australia (external site) is the body responsible for coordinating the NHHI. It provides a range of resources and information on the proper use  of alcohol-based hand sanitisers and correct hand washing techniques.

Hand Hygiene Australia has identified 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene (external site) which are the critical times to perform hand hygiene.

Audit tool

All states and territories participating in the NHHI use standard audit tools (external site) developed by the WHO to assess healthcare worker hand hygiene practices.

Resources for healthcare workers

A range of posters and logos have been developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) (external site), and Infections and Immunology Health Network in conjunction with the Office of Safety and Quality in Healthcare.

How to posters

Clean hands, safe hands

Produced by

Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit