Hand Hygiene Compliance

What is Hand Hygiene?

Hand hygiene refers to removing or killing micro-organisms (germs) on a person's hands. These germs may have been picked up during contact with patients, contaminated equipment or the environment. Visitors and patients may also unknowingly bring germs into the hospital setting. Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of health care-associated infections.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the preferred method of hand hygiene, but soap and water should be used whenever hands are visibly soiled. Hand sanitizer is preferred because it kills more bacteria, the emollients in it help maintain skin integrity and it is more readily available.

UHN reports hand hygiene compliance before and after health care providers have contact with patients.

UHN was one of the pilot sites for the Ontario "Just Clean Your Hands" campaign. We also have a comprehensive hand hygiene and environmental cleaning strategy in place — Clean Hands Care.

When should you wash your hands?

  1. Before contact with a patient
  2. Before performing sterile procedures
  3. After possible or known contact with a bodily fluid
  4. After contact with a patient

UHN Hand Hygiene Compliance Rates

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