Hand hygiene at Lismore Base Hospital is seven points below the national benchmark, according to new information released on the MyHospitals website yesterday.
According to the website, the estimated rate was 63.1 per cent based on 1,087 cases, or what the website refers to as ‘hand hygiene moments’, well below the benchmark rate of 70 per cent.
Good hand hygiene requires doctors and nurses to wash or disinfect their hands before and after touching patients. It is one of the most effective ways to minimise the risk of healthcare-associated infections, such as staph, and is the subject of a National Hand Hygiene Initiative.
By comparison all the other hospitals in the area passed the benchmark with flying colours.
Ballina Hospital received a score of 85.9 per cent out of 319 cases; Byron Hospital was 79.6 per cent (but the number of acute beds is small); Casino scored 89.3 out of 149 cases; Mullumbimby scored 86.7 per cent (but again the number of acute beds is small); Murwillumbah scored 89.8 per cent based on 235 cases; and the Tweed Hospital scored 77.5 per cent based on 1,766 cases.
Vahid Saberi, executive director of the Richmond/Clarence Health Service Group told ABC radio this morning that the figures were historic, relating to the period up to October last year, and that the situation at the hospital had since improved.
‘We are quite confident that at the March audit, which is being conducted now, Lismore will achieve the benchmark,’ he said.
Lismore Base has previously scored below the benchmark for staph infections as well but in the most recent reporting period (to 30 June 2011) this improved to 1.46 cases per 10,000 days of patient care (0.54 cases lower than the benchmark).
Information on safety and quality for St Vincents Private Hospital in Lismore is not available on the website.
For more information visit the local area of the MyHospitals website, [http://www.myhospitals.gov.au/browse/nsw/richmond-tweed] select a hospital and click on the ‘safety and quality’ tab.