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Scream Clean

Scream Clean is UHN's new hand hygiene and environmental cleaning campaign initiated in 2011. The goal of Scream Clean is to educate and remind staff of the importance of hand hygiene and environmental cleaning in keeping patients and staff safe.

Hand Hygiene

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

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.

How Are We Working Towards the Scream Clean Goal?

  • Continuously educating and testing ourselves on hand hygiene and environmental processes and procedures.
  • Developing novel ways to increase hand hygiene and environmental cleaning awareness and compliance rates, using behaviour change techniques, such as positive deviance and encouraging front line ownership.
  • Designing and implementing the use of auditing tools to accurately measure compliance rates.

Help Us Scream Clean

Proper hand hygiene includes cleaning hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water when:

  • Cleaning hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water:
  • Entering and exiting the hospital
  • Entering and exiting a patient room
  • After using the washroom
  • Before eating
  • Whenever hands are visible soiled
  • Frequently throughout the day (for example, after touching elevator buttons or sneezing)

Please remember to:

  • Employ good hand-washing techniques:
  • Get all surfaces: finger tips, between fingers, palms and back of hands
  • Use warm water to open up pores on hands, not hot water which can actually close up pores and trap dirt in the skin
  • Turn off the faucet using paper towel (if not electronic or foot/elbow operated)
  • Sneezing into your sleeve, not your hand!