Mrs Kate Manserra1
1Tasmanian Health Service North West – Mersey Community Hospital, Latrobe, Australia
Research shows that visitors rarely clean their hands in healthcare settings. One factor that may limit hand hygiene by healthcare facility visitors is uncertainty regarding when hand hygiene should be performed. A 2019 study showed compliance increased from <10% to 87% with educational intervention on entering a healthcare facility, with visitors expressing a preference for verbal reminders and signage. A 2020 study illustrated the effectiveness of an educational poster for healthcare facility visitor hand hygiene with 4 distinct moments: (1) Entering the facility, (2) After touching shared items, (3) Entering and exiting a patient’s room, and (4) Exiting the healthcare facility.
A working party was initiated to prepare for a World Hand Hygiene Day promotion across all THS sites. A new slogan “Enter Our Door – Do The 4” was created. A poster and banner were developed, with input from a graphic design department, and tested on consumers for understanding. Media interviews were arranged with local radio stations and a daily newspaper. An inpatient brochure especially for the day was distributed with breakfast trays. Posters were distributed throughout the organisation’s healthcare facilities. Infection control nurses manned foyer displays to engage with consumers, discuss the poster, practice hand hygiene and to give away hand hygiene merchandise.
Collegial and public feedback was very positive. Posters and banners remain as a visual reminder.
Future audits are planned to assess for improvements in visitor hand hygiene. This project demonstrates how passionate nurses can influence visitor hand hygiene.
Kate Manserra is a Clinical Nurse Educator – Infection Prevention & Control based at Mersey Community Hospital (Tasmanian Health Service – North West). She completed a Master of Global Public Health from Griffith University in 2020, specialising in Infectious Diseases, Leadership and Health Services Management. Prior to moving to Tasmania in 2020 to work in Infection Prevention & Control, she worked for Melbourne Health, Wimmera Health Care Group and Eastern Health in Victoria in a variety of settings and specialisations.