Muskoka hospitals top provincial standards for hand-washing in annual audit
MUSKOKA — Give a hand for hospital cleanliness.
Staff, physicians and volunteers at Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare celebrated STOP! Clean Your Hands Day on May 5 with more than clean hands.
Their 2013-2014 hand hygiene compliance rates not only surpassed internal quality improvement plan targets, but also exceeded provincial averages.
They say in a news release that rates, determined from audit results between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, revealed hand-washing compliance of 95 per cent “before patient/environment contact” and 94.5 per cent “after patient/environment contact.”
The provincial averages for the same annual period are 86.25% “before patient/environment contact” and 91 per cent after patient/environment contact.
“Hand hygiene is a critical component to our culture of patient safety and has been a high priority across the organization,” Natalie Bubela, CEO said in the release.
“These outstanding results demonstrate how diligently our teams are focused on this infection prevention and control component and the ongoing commitment of all of our staff, physicians and volunteers to safe, high-quality care.”
She says hand hygiene compliance is measured in clinical areas every month through visual hand hygiene audits conducted by MAHC’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) department.
In 2013-2014, IPAC conducted approximately 200 hand hygiene audits at each of the Bracebridge and Huntsville hospital sites every month. The results are reported to Health Quality Ontario publicly shared on the MAHC website.
Awareness campaigns, education and the unrelenting focus on patient safety have all contributed to the improved results, as well as the recognition of the importance of the Four Moments of hand hygiene, hospital officials say.
“After all it’s the single most important thing each of us can do to keep patients, families and ourselves safe and prevent the spread of disease and illness,” Bubela says.
Hand hygiene continues to be a focus of the 2014-15 Quality Improvement Plan, with a goal to achieve ‘before patient/environment contact’ compliance rate of greater than 91.40.
Other factors include working to reduce hospital acquired infection rates and improve patient satisfaction.
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