Hand hygiene refers to removing or killing microorganisms (germs) on the hands that may have been picked up during contact with patients or the environment. Visitors and patients may also unknowingly bring micro-organisms into the hospital setting. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the preferred method for hand hygiene at UHN, but soap and water should be used whenever hands are visibly soiled. Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections such as MRSA or C. difficile.
Environmental cleaning refers to removing or killing microorganisms (germs) on contaminated equipment, materials, surfaces and objects in the patient’s environment. Environmental cleaning prevents bacteria from being picked up by healthcare workers’ and visitors’ hands, clothing/uniforms, and other hospital equipment, then spreading to other patients. Some bacteria such as C.difficile can live on objects
for more than 30 days. When patients touch something that has the bacterium on it, and then touch their mouth, they can become infected.
Proper hand hygiene includes cleaning hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water when:
Please remember to: