National hand hygiene benchmark

The national hand hygiene benchmark is set by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC). From 2017 onwards, the benchmark has been set to 80%.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) is responsible for implementing the AHMAC decision, and recently there has been a change to this benchmark.

The following has been provided to HHA by the Commission for the information of all involved in the hand hygiene program:

Since 2010, the rate of compliance for individual health services across Australia has been reported on the MyHospitals website. Recent audit data has found that, overall, hospital staff across the country had 83% compliance with best practice hand hygiene. Raising the benchmark to 80% in 2017 will encourage active participation from all clinicians, and will meet public expectations of high levels of compliance in regard to hand hygiene.

Reporting of hand hygiene compliance rates across healthcare worker groups, rather than the current reporting of aggregated health service results, will also encourage health services with lower rates to take action to raise compliance in these critical groups, demonstrating a strong commitment to infection control and patient safety.

The benchmark of 80% in 2017 relates to all five moments of hand hyigene. All health services, especially those with lower rates of Moments 1 and 2 will be encouraged to take action to raise compliance in these critical areas.

There are currently ongoing discussions regarding how this data will be presented on the MyHospitals website.

If you have any questions about this benchmark, please contact Catherine Katz, Director SQISIR (the Commission):

Email: catherine.katz@safetyandquality.gov.au

Phone: 02 9126 3574