Hand Hygiene Education

Every year in Canada patients die or become seriously ill from infections acquired in hospitals. It is estimated that at least 30% of hospital acquired infections are preventable. Bacteria that cause infections are most frequently spread from one patient to another on the hands of health care workers.

Scientific evidence shows that hand hygiene is the single most important way of controlling the spread of micro organisms which can cause infection.

In an effort to promote and improve hand hygiene, Renfrew Victoria Hospital takes part in the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care's Just Clean Your Hands program. This evidence based program builds on work done by the World Health Organization and the United Kingdom. It was specifically designed for Ontario hospitals and was successfully pilot tested in 10 Ontario hospitals, one of which was The Ottawa Hospital.

The goals of the program are:

  • Improve Hand Hygiene practices among health care workers;
  • Obtain and sustain long term improvement in the hand hygiene practices among Ontario's health care workers;
  • Build a culture of hand hygiene compliance where infection prevention and control is everyone's business.

For more information visit, Just Clean Your Hands.

Facts at a Glance

As of April 30, 2009, all Ontario hospitals are required to annually post their hand hygiene compliance rates to further promote accountability and transparency within the health system.

Patient safety remains the most important priority for St. Francis Memorial Hospital and the dedicated health professionals who work in this hospital are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients. This involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting healthcare-associated infections. We have a number of practices in place to help prevent and control infections, including a comprehensive hand hygiene program.

The monitoring of prevention best practices and infection-specific precautions within hospitals is something St. Francis Memorial Hospital is absolutely committed to. In addition to complying with the Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee recommendations, we also go through an extensive accreditation process that requires us to show our use of prevention best practices. St. Francis Memorial Hospital last completed a successful accreditation in 2007. Accreditation occurs every three years.

St. Francis Memorial Hospital has participated in a number of Ministry of Health & Long Term Care and Ontario Hospital Association education opportunities related to best practices for infection prevention and control and welcomes the use and sharing of best practices.

Hand Hygiene

  • Hand hygiene is a key issue for our hospital, and our hospital has mobilized resources to enhance patient and health care provider safety through improved hand hygiene compliance within our organization.
  • We know that good hand hygiene is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of health care-associated infections.
  • Hand hygiene (hand washing or the use of an alcohol-based hand rub) is something we all do, but it’s also something that we want to continue to do better.
  • To be clear, health care providers are washing their hands. What the provincial audit tool does is help ensure that they are washing them the right way at the right times.
  • We have sound infection control programs in place and are committed to using standardized patient safety data and public reporting to drive further improvements.
  • Last March, 100% of Ontario hospitals (including St. Francis Memorial Hospital) participated in the government’s Just Clean Your Hands training program – an evidence-based, multi-faceted hand hygiene program to support hand hygiene improvement in hospitals.
  • We continue to support a culture of patient safety involving everyone – health care administration, health care professionals, and, of course, patients and families.

Our Commitment

St. Francis Memorial Hospital strongly supports the provincial government’s new public reporting regime because we believe it will inspire improved performance, enhance patient safety, and strengthen the public’s confidence in Ontario’s hospitals. The public reporting of hand hygiene compliance rates is another, helpful measure to ensure the care provided to our patients is even safer, and improves over time. The public reporting of hand hygiene compliance rates is not intended to serve as a comparator measure among hospitals. It is about reducing the occurences of health care-associated infections.

If you have any questions about the information on this website or about our hospital’s infection prevention and control program, please contact Melissa Botz at 613-756-3044 X 278 or by email at botzm@sfmhosp.com.