National Hand Hygiene Initiative

Hand hygiene is a high priority for the prevention of healthcare-associated infection.

The Commission established the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI) in 2008 as part of a suite of initiatives to prevent and reduce healthcare-associated infections in Australia. The Commission contracted with Hand Hygiene Australia (HHA) over this period to coordinate and support implementation of the NHHI, in conjunction with the states and territories, and the private sector.

With the support of HHA and public and private health service organisations, there has been substantial progress in regard to increasing hand hygiene compliance in Australia. HHA has provided significant and valuable support for the NHHI through a range of educational resources, the support of auditing through resource development and training, and in the support of hand hygiene compliance reporting.

After 10 years, and significant success, HHA and the Commission have both agreed that the NHHI coordination and support role will now be provided by the Commission. The Commission thanks HHA for its support to health service organisations during this time.

A stakeholder consultation process is underway as part of a review to inform the way in which the NHHI can best contribute to the overall requirements of infection prevention and control strategies into the future. The Commission will consider the outcome of this process, and the options for future arrangements, in liaison with states and territories and the private sector, to ensure that there is continuity and sustainability of the NHHI. The review provides the opportunity to ensure that the NHHI remains responsive to the future needs of health service organisations.

From 1 October 2019, the Commission will provide the Helpdesk (email and telephone) service for users of the NHHI online learning modules and the Hand Hygiene Compliance Application (HHCApp). The new contact details for the NHHI Helpdesk are:

Email: handhygiene@safetyandquality.gov.au

Telephone: 02 9126 3511

Your query will be responded to as quickly as possible, and within 5 business days.
Help Desk hours are 10am–2pm, business days.

From 1 November 2019, the Commission will coordinate and support all aspects of the NHHI.

Hand hygiene online learning modules

The hand hygiene online learning modules are designed for health service organisations to use as part of their orientation program for healthcare workers. These modules provide education on hand hygiene and, more broadly, the principles of infection prevention and control.

Registered users can complete as much of each module as is relevant to them, and modules can be repeated. A certificate of completion is available for registered users.

Hand hygiene resources

A suite of resources has been developed to support local implementation of programs to improve hand hygiene. This information, which is currently available on the Hand Hygiene Australia website, includes:

These resources will soon be available on the Commission’s website.

Privacy and data governance

The Commission has a privacy policy and a Data Governance Framework that describe the arrangements for fulfilling obligations in relation to privacy and data governance.

Hand Hygiene Compliance Application (HHCApp) data and any other data supplied to the Commission in relation to the NHHI is managed in accordance with these arrangements.