At Cork University Hospital, keeping our patients safe is a top priority. We have put into place many practices and programmes to eliminate medication errors, prevent infections and reduce patient falls. We also continue to provide patient safety training and education for our doctors, nurses and other staff members.
Certain safety practices – some as simple as hand-washing – can have a dramatic impact on patient outcomes. That’s why the entire clinical staff at CUH is committed to keeping patients free from harm by establishing strict safety practices, sticking to these practices and seeking innovative ways to further improve safety.
In the Cork University and Cork University Maternity hospitals, we are committed to keeping patients safe by practicing good hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is a simple and very effective way of preventing the spread of infections. Hand hygiene can be performed with alcohol hand rubs, which are available at all patient contact areas, or by hand washing.
We require our staff to use hand hygiene before and after caring for a patient and before and after performing invasive procedures on patients.
How Are We Doing?
There is a Hand Hygiene Strategy for the improvement and maintenance of hand hygiene standards. The hospital has taken part in the National Hand Hygiene Audit since 2014 and there’s been steady increase in hand hygiene compliance.
National Hand Hygiene Audit Report 2014
The Cork University and Cork Maternity Hospital (The Cork University Hospital Group (CUHG)) is fully committed to improving hand hygiene compliance across the group, consequently ensuring patient safety. We are striving to create a culture of patient Safety - where each member of staff takes responsibility to comply with the “HSE/WHO 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene”. At the latest National Hand Hygiene Audit we achieved 87%. We continue to work towards 100% compliance.
What Are We Doing To Improve Hand Hygiene?
Regular monthly audits of hand hygiene compliance are carried out in all wards and departments in the hospital. Business sized "hand hygiene cards" are available for our visitors and patients to remind them also to clean their hands.
Our healthcare workers practice hand hygiene according to the HSE/World Health Organisation’s (WHO) "Your 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene".
“Your 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene”
This is a worldwide concept where hand hygiene is performed at key points during patient care to disrupt the transmission of germs to patients. These moments are:
- Before touching a patient
- Before a clean or aseptic procedure
- After contact with blood or body fluids
- After touching a patient
- After touching a patient’s surroundings
Hand must be cleaned before and after using gloves because gloves they are not a substitute for clean hands.
What Do We Do To Improve Hand Hygiene And Protect Our Patients?
World Hand Hygiene Day 2015
Hand hygiene is promoted regularly in the hospital through product displays, competitions and prizes. The posters below were developed from a children’s hand hygiene poster competition to celebrate "World Hand Hygiene Day" 2015.
Bare Below The Elbows Policy
Most recently, the Hospital is drawing attention to the ““Bare below the Elbows” Policy in the hospital with the first in a series of posters designed by the hospital and using personnel from all disciplines to spread the message.
What Can Patients & Public Do To Help?
Please visit Infection & Control - Hand Hygiene