Dear Colleagues,

Over the past couple years, each unit of our hospital has focused attention on hand hygiene in different ways. I discovered one of the most innovative methods on 5B, at TWH, where members of the nursing staff suggested that they should get a palm tree to sign in order to demonstrate their commitment to "keeping their palms" clean. I was happy that my assistant Ruth managed to find a cardboard palm tree that we could put up for staff to sign—and happy to sign it myself as a symbol of UHN's focus on hand hygiene.

Hand hygiene is UHN's #1 commitment under our Ministry of Health Quality Improvement Plan and I know that all of our units are thinking about how we will achieve 80% compliance in 2011/12.

Today marks the start of our next hand hygiene campaign, with the launch of our new slogan to "Scream Clean." Congratulations and thank you for your efforts and commitment to reaching our target of 70% Hand Hygiene compliance this past year. Although our final figures have come in just shy of our target (67%) this is still a HUGE accomplishment, considering our original compliance rate just two years ago.

We started last year with a 39​% compliance rate and pushed that number up to 67% by the end of the fiscal, an increase of 71%. Every single unit at UHN has improved over the course of the year—some by as much as 100% from their first quarter figures. A number of our units maintained a rate of more than 80% in the last quarter with several actually cracking the ceiling at more than 90%!

During this campaign we have found new and novel ways to increase awareness and change behaviours to meet our hand hygiene goals. We've designed and developed auditing tools to accurately measure those rates and educated ourselves and our patients and families about the importance of the hand hygiene initiative.

I am thrilled to say we are well on our way to 100% compliance and to reducing hospital-acquired infections on our premises.

That being said we have set a target of 80% compliance for this upcoming fiscal year. Judging by our success thus far, I am confident we will actually exceed that goal and reach our ultimate compliance rate of 100% within a very short time.

Hand hygiene relies on all of you to participate—if you have any suggestions to help UHN reach our ultimate goal, please feel free to drop me a line at


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