“It’s okay to ask if my hands are clean!”

For Immediate Release – Monday, July 16, 2012

 Media Release

RE:  It’s Okay to Ask If My Hands Are Clean!

Smiths Falls, ON – 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 microorganisms. 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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. If everyone does their part, patients can avoid contracting illnesses that can set them back in their health.”

Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital infection control rates are posted at http://psfdh.on.ca/patients-and-visitors/patient-safety-indicators-2/ .

For further information, please contact:

Linda Bisonette, BScN, MHS, CHE
Interim President & CEO
Vice President, Patient Care Services & CNE
c/o Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital
613-283-2330 ext. 1110
lbisonette@psfdh.on.ca

 www.psfdh.on.ca

Great War Memorial Site
33 Drummond Street West
Perth, ON K7H 2K1
Tel: (613) 267-1500
Smiths Falls Site
60 Cornelia Street West
Smiths Falls, ON K7A 2H9
Tel: (613) 283-2330

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