Yes, something as simple and easy as cleaning your hands can play a critical role in improving healthcare.
On a yearly basis, since April 2009, we report hand hygiene compliance rates at our two hospitals (Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital and Saint-Vincent Hospital) on our web site. The analysis of our hand hygiene compliance rates over time will provide us with valuable information that we will use to improve quality of care in our organization.
Hand hygiene compliance rates at Bruyère hospitals
Hand Hygiene Q&A
Q: Why is hand hygiene so important?
A: Effective hand hygiene practices in hospitals play a key role in improving patient and provider safety, and
in preventing the spread of health care-associated infections. Hand hygiene is a different way of thinking about safety and patient care and involves everyone in the hospital, including patients, residents, visitors and health
Q: What are healthcare-associated infections?
A: Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called healthcare-associated infections. This may mean that certain symptoms began 72 hours after admission to the hospital; or that the infection was present at the time of admission, but was related to a previous admission to that hospital within the last four weeks.
Q: What can patients do to help improve their own safety?
A: 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.
As a patient or resident you need to clean your hands:
- Before you leave your room
- Before eating and drinking
- After using the bathroom
- After blowing your nose
- Before and after you have contact with dressing or wounds
- When your hands are visibly soiled
Remind all staff and visitors to practice good hand hygiene before and after they take care of you. Ask your nurse or doctor to demonstrate proper hand hygiene [15 seconds of soap and running water OR waterless alcohol hand rub (such as Purell) until hands are dry].
Q: What can visitors do to help improve patient safety?
A: During your visits make use of the hand sanitizing stations we provide in all our facilities in order to ensure the health and safety of all our patients and residents. Its best if you sanitize your hands when entering and leaving both the building and rooms.
Q: What is Bruyère doing to improve patient safety?
A: At Bruyère, patient safety remains our most important priority and involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting health care-associated infections. We have a number of practices in place to help prevent and control infections, including ongoing enhancements to our hand hygiene procedures. We provide access to alcohol-based hand rub products as well as soap and water throughout our facilities for staff, patients and visitors to use.
Using the guidelines of Public Health Ontario’s Just Clean Your Hands campaign, we are developing a process to assess hand hygiene practices of staff members. The results of this initiative will be used to continually improve our hand hygiene program.
In addition, we have a Patient Safety Program in the hospital to ensure that our practices meet the highest standards possible to keep you safe. This includes:
- Ensuring that our environmental cleaning practices are in line with the best practices in healthcare
- Conducting audits on various practices to verify that patient care is as safe as possible