Culture change for hand hygiene: clean hands save lives, part II.

Kimberley R. Fitzpatrick*, Annette C. Pantle, Mary Louise McLaws, Clifford F. Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To present the results of surveys of staff, patients and visitors about their perceptions of hand hygiene behaviour before and after implementation of the Clean hands save lives campaign in New South Wales public hospitals. DESIGN AND SETTING: Pre- and post-campaign questionnaires, disseminated through project officers in each health authority, were completed by selected staff and patients/visitors in all 208 public hospitals in NSW. Combined, de-identified results for each health authority were forwarded to the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission for analysis. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Awareness of campaign material; staff perceptions about their ability to maintain a high level of hand hygiene compliance before and after contact with patients; compliance self-reported by staff compared with compliance perceived by patients/visitors and compliance assessed by overt observation. RESULTS: Most staff and patients/visitors were aware of campaign materials. Eighty-six per cent of staff respondents (495/578) believed that placement of alcohol-based hand rub (AHR) close to the point of patient care had improved hand hygiene compliance, and 76% (510/671) believed they could sustain their level of compliance. Only 1 in 4 patients or visitors (106/397) were willing to question health care workers who appeared not to be complying with hand hygiene practices. CONCLUSION: As the first coordinated statewide campaign to modify hand hygiene culture, the Clean hands save lives campaign successfully engendered positive attitudes and dispelled negative perceptions about the onerous nature of before- and after-patient-contact hand hygiene compliance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s13-s17
Number of pages5
JournalThe Medical journal of Australia
Issue number8 Suppl
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Culture change for hand hygiene: clean hands save lives, part II.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this