“Seconds save lives – clean your hands” – World Hand Hygiene Day, Wednesday 5th May

COVID-19 Protocols – Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene remains the most important factor in the prevention of infection. By having clean hands you will prevent picking up infection and also reduce any risk of contaminating surfaces. Blackrock Clinic provides alcohol gel at the correct concentration of 70% throughout the hospital, inside and outside every patient room and at each hospital entrance.

We have increased the disinfection of touch areas throughout the hospital which includes all waiting area chairs, door handles and bathrooms.

Covid-19 Patient Information

Hand Hygiene compliance in Blackrock Clinic

Hand hygiene includes washing your hands with soap and water and/or cleaning your hands with an alcohol based hand rub. Blackrock Clinic measures hand hygiene using the national Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) audit tool. This allows our compliance rate to be benchmarked against other hospitals in Ireland. It also enables us to compare compliance rates between hospitals and share ways of trying to improve hand hygiene at national level. All healthcare provider groups including physicians, contracted employees and students are included in the audits.

WHO 5 moments hand hygiene poster
WHO ‘5 Moments for Hand Hygiene’

Why is measuring hand hygiene compliance so important?  

Hand hygiene is internationally accepted as the ‘single most important method of infection prevention and control’. Following the WHO’s “5 Moments for Hand Hygiene” guidelines (in conjunction with HPSC audit) increases clinical staff awareness of the importance of hand hygiene.

Count Me In – 2013 campaign launch


  • After coughing or sneezing.
  • When they are visibly contaminated with dirt, soil, organic material.
  • When entering and leaving the hospital.
  • Before and after all patient contact.
  • After moving from a contaminated to a clean area after contact with an individual patient.
  • Before and after removing gloves.
  • Before and after eating.
  • After personal bodily functions such as blowing nose and using the lavatory.
  • You can use alcohol hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty.

“Seconds save lives – clean your hands”

“The 2021 World Health Organization “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands” campaign reminds us all of the need to save lives with hand hygiene best practice: health care workers, Infection Prevention & Control practitioners, patients and families, facility managers, policy-makers, vaccinators, and the general public can play critical roles in achieving optimal hand hygiene at the point of care, helping to strengthen society involvement.”

“Seconds save lives – clean your hands”: the 5 May 2021 World Health Organization SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign. Allegranzi, B. et al. Journal of Hospital Infection, Volume 111, 1 – 3