New hygiene and infection prevention inspection reports have been published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). The reports have found that poor hand washing practices in many Irish Hospitals are potentially putting patients at risk of acquiring a health care associated infection. The Authority also found wide variations in regard to hospital cleanliness.
Speaking about the latest findings Mr. Phelim Quinn, Director of Regulation with HIQA commented;
‘’good hand hygiene practice is the single most important measure to protect patients from healthcare associated infections. Staff at all levels within Irish Hospitals deserve credit for their awareness of the importance of and the good examples of hand hygiene practice found by the Authority. In many cases, however, we found hand hygiene actions were not always undertaken, or carried out in the right way despite the efforts of Staff involved.”
12 unannounced assessment reports have been published by HIQA and they focus on hand hygiene and hospital cleanliness. Two announced assessment reports deal also with a range of elements essential for the control and prevention of health care associated infections. The reports are part of a new programme of work for HIQA to assess the impact of its national standards for the prevention and control of health care associated infections on improving patient safety within Irish Hospitals.
HIQA aims to provide assurances to the public that Hospitals are implementing and meeting these national standards and are therefore taking the necessary steps to make hospitals safer and better places for patients and staff.