Just Clean Your Hands

A Pilot Project in Partnership with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Cutting the risks of hospital-acquired infections, such as MRSA or C. difficile, is the goal behind a provincial pilot program suitably named “Just Clean Your Hands.”

A recent study found that only 32 per cent (SHEA 2006) of health care professionals in Ontario hospitals properly clean their hands before and after interaction with a patient.

Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the “Just Clean Your Hands” pilot aims to increase and sustain hand-washing compliance and build a culture where infection prevention and control is everybody’s business. Toronto Western Hospital’s ED/GIM units on 8A and 8B and the Medical/Surgical/Neuro ICU on 2F, along with nine hospitals from across the province, were chosen to participate in the six-month pilot with the results expected to shape the development of a provincial hand hygiene improvement program.

Modeled after the successful hand hygiene programs from other countries, the pilot includes educating healthcare providers; ensuring that alcohol-based hand sanitzers are easily accessible at patient bedsides and other points of care; identifying champions from senior management; and displaying promotional items including posters and brochures. As part of the program, patients will be encouraged to participate by reminding healthcare workers to clean their hands.

“Hand hygiene is the single most important way of preventing the spread of infections,” said Linda Belford, nurse manager of TWH 8A. “When our doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals clean their hands before and after touching each patient, it helps stop germs from spreading.”

For more information on the pilot, visit www.justcleanyourhands.ca.

UHN Media Release [include link to media release]


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