Smiths Falls

Hospital is rolling out hand washing program

Posted Jul 19, 2012 By EMC News

EMC News - Hand hygiene - washing with soap and water or using alcohol based products - remains the cornerstone of infection prevention, both in the home and hospital.

It is well recognized that hands are the most common source of transmission of Micro-organisms. Proper hand hygiene removes those unwanted germs from the hands.

Good hand hygiene - the simple task of cleaning hands at the right time, in the right way - can and does save lives.

The Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital has embarked on a new program to support the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, "Just Clean Your Hands" campaign that is aimed at supporting and monitoring compliance with the, "Four Moments of Hand Hygiene." Auditing and reporting rates of hand hygiene is a mandatory, publicly reported indicator of patient safety. Every hospital in Ontario must post these rates on their websites. Using a paper-based audit tool was time consuming and concerns were raised regarding the objectivity of the tool.

To overcome these concerns, the organization has purchased an electronic tool that was developed at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. "Handy Audit" is a novel software program that allows the auditors to record the actions of the health care providers, rather than their compliance with hand hygiene indications. Observational data is entered into the program through the use of a hand held device, in our case an iPad. The "Handy Audit" system then analyzes the recorded actions of the health care providers and calculates hand hygiene opportunities.

The use of the "Handy Audit" is a significant change in the usual auditing practices as auditors "tag" along with the health care provider for 10-20 minutes.

"This is quite a change from our usual auditing and it took some getting used to, but staff support the organization's hand hygiene mandate and understand the need to be innovative when it comes to protecting patients and saving lives," stated Mary Lu Sample, Manager, Laboratory Services & Infection Control. No personal or identifying information is recorded and an individual's performance can not be identified. No patient data is recorded.

Linda Bisonette, Interim President & CEO and Vice President, Patient Care Services & CNE, stated that, "the goal of all infection prevention and control programs is ultimately the protection of the patients, staff and visitors."

Hospital infection control rates are posted at .

Submitted by the Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital.

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