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Med J Aust. 2008 Jun 2;188(11):633-40.

Significant reductions in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia and clinical isolates associated with a multisite, hand hygiene culture-change program and subsequent successful statewide roll-out.

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Infectious Diseases and Clinical Epidemiology Department, Austin Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



To assess the efficacy of a multimodal, centrally coordinated, multisite hand hygiene culture-change program (HHCCP) for reducing rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteraemia and disease in Victorian hospitals.


A pilot HHCCP was conducted over a 24-month period (October 2004 to September 2006) in six Victorian health care institutions (4 urban, 2 rural; total beds, 2379). Subsequently, we assessed the efficacy of an identical program implemented throughout Victorian public hospitals over a 12-month period (beginning between March 2006 and July 2006).


Rates of hand hygiene (HH) compliance; rates of MRSA disease (patients with bacteraemia and number of clinical isolates per 100 patient discharges [PD]).


Mean HH compliance improved significantly at all pilot program sites, from 21% (95% CI, 20%-22%) at baseline to 48% (95% CI, 47%-49%) at 12 months and 47% (95% CI, 46%-48%; range, 31%-75%) at 24 months. Mean baseline rates for the number of patients with MRSA bacteraemia and the number of clinical MRSA isolates were 0.05/100 PD per month (range, 0.00-0.13) and 1.39/100 PD per month (range, 0.16-2.39), respectively. These were significantly reduced after 24 months to 0.02/100 PD per month for bacteraemia (P = 0.035 for trend; 65 fewer patients with bacteraemia) and 0.73/100 PD per month for MRSA isolates (P = 0.003; 716 fewer isolates). Similar findings were noted 12 months after the statewide roll-out, with an increase in mean HH compliance (from 20% to 53%; P < 0.001) and reductions in the rates of MRSA isolates (P = 0.043) and bacteraemias (P = 0.09).


Pilot and subsequent statewide implementation of a multimodal HHCCP was effective in significantly improving HH compliance and reducing rates of MRSA infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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