Hand hygiene is an integral part of patient safety. It is easy to do and is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness in health care settings. Hand hygiene consists of washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol based hand rub. Wash your hands after using the washroom, before eating and when your hands are visibly soiled. Use an alcohol based hand rub to sanitize your hands before visiting a health care facility as well as before and after contact with a patient or their environment.
CAMH Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) department provides hand hygiene education and training for the majority of staff and patients. IPAC has launched the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's "Just Clean your Hands" program. For more information visit: Just Clean Your Hands.
MOHLTC Hand Hygiene Observations
All hospitals in Ontario are mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to start collecting hand hygiene data based on the “Four Moments for Hand Hygiene” as part of Ontario’s Just Clean Your Hands program. Hospitals are required to report on 200 observations annually for every 100 patient beds. CAMH is meeting these requirements.
Hand Hygiene compliance rates are reported annually, and calculated based on compliance to the four moments of hand hygiene:
- Before initial patient/patient environment contact
- Before aseptic procedure
- After body fluid exposure risk
- After patient/patient environment contact
As of April 30, 2009, hospitals are required to annually post their hand hygiene compliance rates to further promote accountability and transparency within the health system. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has mandated that moments 1 and 4 be reported, as these are the most important in preventing the spread of infections in hospitals.