RVH’s commitment to safety, made hand hygiene rates soar​!

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11 Apr RVH’s commitment to safety, made hand hygiene rates soar​!

​Hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways we can keep our patients – and each other – safe. It is one of our top safety priorities. Simply put, hand washing saves lives.

One of RVH’s most important initiatives is also one of the simplest – ensuring staff, physicians, volunteers and students clean their hands thoroughly and frequently. We conduct daily audits in both inpatient and outpatient clinical areas of the health centre to ensure our team of care providers clean their hands.

All hospitals in Ontario are required to publicly post hand hygiene rates on their website, but RVH has taken that transparency and our commitment to safety even further.  With the data collected during audits we prominently post departmental hand hygiene rates at the entrance to clinical areas for all to see.

As well, RVH has taken the unique and bold step of posting large signs comparing current departmental hand hygiene compliance rates in busy locations throughout the health centre, such as entrances, the Food Court and near staff badge-in kiosks. Posting our results enables RVH to celebrate high compliance rates, recognize departments that demonstrate outstanding commitment to patient safety and reinforce our dedication to hand hygiene.

During the last two years, RVH has made significant efforts to improve hand hygiene through several creative initiatives. Bug Busters, a campaign based on a parody of the Ghostbusters movie, included a music video, posters, an ongoing comic strip and monthly Bug Buster recognition for RVH’s hand hygiene champions, all of which resulted in significantly increased compliance rates.

We have also added mandatory annual hand hygiene education for all staff, installed more than 1,000 alcohol-based hand rub stations throughout the facility. To reach everyone entering and exiting the building, RVH added automated audio messages and prominent signage at entrances reminding that washing their hands is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of infection.

These measures, coupled with the diligence of our staff, physicians, volunteers and students, has helped create soaring hand hygiene rates at RVH. Many RVH inpatient units are reporting 100 per cent monthly compliance and our last corporate hand hygiene rate measured during the last hospital-wide audit was an impressive 93 per cent.  But our strategic plan states we will “exceed all safety measures”, so we continue aiming for 100 per cent compliance.  

We take our commitment to safety seriously. RVH’s unwavering focus on quality care is our highest priority, guiding every decision and every action.​