Hand Hygiene Compliance
All Ontario hospitals are required to provide their hand hygiene compliance rates to further promote transparency within the health system. Rates can be viewed on the provincial Health Quality Ontario website.
Patient safety remains a top priority for Quinte Health and this involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting health care-associated infections.
We have a number of practices in place to prevent and control infections, including a comprehensive hand hygiene program. After being one of 10 hospitals involved in the Just Clean Your Hands pilot project with the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Quinte Health has expanded the program across the organization. It is designed to build a culture where infection prevention and control is everyone’s business – staff, physicians, patients, and visitors.
The program involves increased education, marketing tools, auditing, and alcohol hand rub dispensers near each bedside and other patient care areas.
What are health care-associated infections?
Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called health care-associated infections.
Why is hand hygiene so important?
Hand hygiene is an important practice for health care providers and has a significant impact on reducing the spread of infections in hospitals. Hand hygiene is a different way of thinking about safety and patient care and involves everyone in the hospital, including patients and health care providers.
What can patients do to help improve their own safety?
Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients. Hand cleaning is one of the best ways you and your health care team can prevent the spread of many infections. Patients and their visitors should also practice good hand hygiene before and after entering patient rooms, before eating, and after using the washroom.
Follow these five simple steps to keeping hands clean:
- Wet your hands with warm running water.
- Add soap, and then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather. Do this away from the running water for at least 15 seconds, being careful not to wash the lather away. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails.
- Rinse your hands well under warm running water.
- Pat hands dry with a paper towel.
- Turn off water using the same paper towel and dispose of it in a proper receptacle.
Alcohol-based hand rubs should only be used if no visible dirt is present on the hands. Apply enough antiseptic to make about the size of a quarter onto your hands, enough when you rub your hands together to cover all areas of your hands, including under your nails. Use a rubbing motion to evenly distribute the antiseptic product until your hands feel dry.