Canterbury District Health Board is working with the Clown Doctors to emphasise the importance of having clean hands to patients and staff.
Hand Hygiene New Zealand's latest audit period ending (March 2016) showed Canterbury DHB achieved the hand hygiene compliance rate of 78%, just short of the national target of 80%.
To help boost Canterbury DHB's performance, the Hand Hygiene Governance Group launched the "It's OK to ask me" campaign on World Health Organisation's Hand Hygiene Day at the beginning of May. The campaign encourages patients in Canterbury DHB hospital facilities to ask their carer if their hands are clean.
Canterbury and West Coast DHB Chief Executive, David Meates says it is a timely reminder that the simplest and most important patient intervention that keeps patients safe is good hand hygiene.
"We care for people who are particularly vulnerable. It is part of our duty of care to protect them from easily preventable infection. Our staff do their very best to follow best hand hygiene practice, but an extra reminder from our patients can only be helpful. We encourage those in our care to get behind this campaign – It's OK to ask!" says Mr Meates.
Among the tools being used to inform patients and enlist their help are some very entertaining videos featuring CDHB staff, patients and the Clown Doctors.
Programme Director and Team Co-Ordinator of The Clown Doctors New Zealand Charitable Trust, Rita Noetzel, says that good hygiene is front of mind for the Clown Doctors.
"We are very mindful that while we are bringing joy and laughter to people in hospitals, we don't want to bring anything else. We come in contact with people who are not well and are very susceptible to germs. Everything we do incorporates good hand hygiene, so we are delighted to be working with Canterbury DHB staff to prompt patients to ask," says Ms Noetzel.
Staff & Clown Doctors (Duration: 6 minutes, 26 sec)
Consumer Stories - Filmed and edited by Ngaere Dawson, Organisational Development, CDHB. (Duration: 4 minutes 17 sec)
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