Programs to reduce SABSI

Hand hygiene: the washing and/or use of alcohol-based rubs by healthcare workers to clean their hands. It should be performed according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ‘Save Lives – Clean Your Hands’ campaign (WHO 2020).

There are many initiatives that take place at the national, state and territory and local/hospital level to reduce the occurrence of SABSI and other healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). These include the National Hand Hygiene Initiative (NHHI), which aims to educate and promote standardised hand hygiene practice in all Australian hospitals (ACSQHC 2019a).

The NHHI is managed by the Australia Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. State and territory health departments, along with a number of private health organisations, report hand hygiene compliance three times per year for the NHHI (ACSQHC 2020a).

In addition to coordinating the National Hand Hygiene Initiative, the Commission provides an online compendium of resources that have been developed by the various jurisdictions to support organisations in improving SABSI prevention and management. The Commission has also produced resources to support a nationally standardised approach to a surveillance (since 2010) and data validation for SABSI (since 2014). Furthermore, the Commission has also recently produced an online information sheet on the analysis of SABSI data as part of a quality improvement approach.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also been running a number of hand hygiene campaigns over the past ten years. Their most recent campaign is ‘Save lives – Clean Your Hands, 2020 (WHO 2020).


Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) 2019a. National Hand Hygiene Initiative. Sydney: ACSQHC. Viewed 12 Nov 2020.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) 2020a. National hand hygiene audit data – Audit 3, 2020. Sydney: ACSQHC. Viewed 12 Nov 2020.

Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) 2020. How to protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19). Canberra: Department of Health. Viewed 10 Dec 2020.

World Health Organization (WHO) 2020. Save lives – Clean Your Hands 2020, Geneva: WHO. Viewed 12 Nov 2020.