AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: Doctors' handwashing targeted
Posted: October 26th, 2009 - 6:04pm
Source: The Press
A hygiene campaign for health professionals begins in Canterbury next month as Australian research shows inadequate handwashing by most doctors.
New research published in the Medical Journal of Australia found nurses were better than doctors and other health workers at handwashing.
A clean hands campaign, run from 2006 to 2007, had resulted in better hand hygiene overall.
However, less than half of doctors (39 per cent) were found to clean their hands after each patient interaction, the report said. This was up from 30 per cent before the campaign.
For nurses, the rate rose from 54.5 per cent to 65 per cent. Allied health workers' handwashing rates increased from 40 per cent to 48 per cent.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified handwashing as crucial in reducing the spread of infections within hospitals.