Wexford General Hospital has the worst hand hygiene compliance rate in the country, according to the latest figures from the HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre.
The hospital was found to have a 70.3% compliance rate.
The HSE has set a target compliance nationally of 85% for this year.
Overall, among 45 acute hospitals audited, the national rate was 81.6%.
The best hospital was Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital in Dublin with 91% compliance.
The best compliance among health staff was among nurses and midwives, with over 86% compliance, other health staff over 84% compliance, auxillary health staff over 79% and medical staff at 69% compliance.
The report says there is a need to improve hand hygiene by all healthcare workers but specifically among medical staff and promoting the advantages of alcohol rub compared to soap and water.
The audits are performed by HSE hospitals who are required to undertake biannual checks in seven randomly selected wards and observe 30 opportunities per ward.
This audit period covered June and July.
The report says that when compared with previous audits, there was no significant increase in compliance in this period in relation to hygiene before touching a patient and after touching a patient.
Alcohol rub accounts for nearly 60% of hand hygiene actions.
The HSE has set a target of achieving a compliance rate of over 90% by 2013.