​​​Dear Colleagues,

This afternoon, the Hon. David Caplan, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care; Dr. Michael Baker, the province's Executive Lead for Patient Safety; and Dr. Michael Gardam, UHN's Director of Infection Prevention and Control, released the C. difficile rates for all Ontario hospitals.

For the first time ever, the public can access these rates on a new website - www.ontario.ca/patientsafety - to see how hospitals, including each of UHN's sites, are doing in the fight against this hospital-acquired illness. This information, which will be updated monthly, ushers in what I would characterize as a "new era in patient safety" in Ontario hospitals.

The Minister also announced the creation of infection control resource teams and increased funding for more infection prevention and control practitioners in hospitals and local health units.

At UHN, we are a recognized leader in public accountability and transparency. In fact, we were one of the first hospitals in Canada to publicly post our rates for C. difficile and other hospital-acquired infections.

As you know, UHN has taken a variety of steps to improve our rates and work towards the prevention and control of these infections. These steps have included:

  1. Installing more alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations at patient bedsides and at other points of care (such as MOE/MAR stations) to make it easier to use before and after inte​​ractions with patients.
  2. Providing an informative patient education brochure on the importance of hand hygiene.
  3. ​Promoting an ongoing hand hygiene campaign to educate and increase staff compliance.
  4. The formation of the UHN committee for the elimination of hospital-acquired infections to lead culture change.
  5. New housekeeping protocols that include supervisor sign-off.

​I've said it before, but one of the best measures of an organization's success is how its leaders are perceived by the outside world. Drs. Baker and Gardam are two more examples of UHN leadership moving beyond our walls and into our greater healthcare community. Thank you to both for their leadership on this important patient safety initiative!

In the coming months, the Ministry will be releasing other patient safety indicators, including the rates for VRE and MRSA. I encourage everyone to take an active role in infection control and prevention to ensure UHN continues to provide our patients with top-notch care.

Regards,

Bob

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