How will the public reporting of hand hygiene compliance affect compliance among health care professionals?
The goal of public reporting hand hygiene compliance is to achieve an overall assessment of whether compliance rates are improving over time. It is normal for rates to vary from hospital to hospital. There are many factors that will improve hand hygiene compliance. Mandatory public reporting is one element. Certainly the increasing recent attention on the issue as well as the provincial government’s multifaceted hand hygiene program called Just Clean Your Hands are important to ensuring effective hand hygiene at the right times.
How is the Hand Hygiene Compliance Rate calculated?
Ontario hospitals are posting their hand hygiene compliance rates as percentages for time periods identified by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, using the following formula:
# of times hand hygiene performed x 100
# of observed hand hygiene indications
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These percentages also reflect:
(i) hand hygiene before initial patient/patient environment contact by combined health care provider type (e.g., nurses, allied health professionals, physicians, etc.)
(ii) hand hygiene after patient/patient environment contact by combined health care provider type (e.g., nurses, allied health professionals, physicians, etc.)
Hospitals are to collect at least 200 observations for every 100 in patient beds. At the Royal Victoria Hospital we collected over 800 observations.
Patient Safety at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Patient safety remains the most important priority for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and this involves ensuring that patients are not at risk for contracting healthcare-associated infections.
We have a number of practices in place to help prevent and control infections, including a comprehensive hand hygiene program. As of April 30, 2009, all Ontario hospitals are required to annually post their hand hygiene compliance rates to further promote accountability and transparency within the health system.
RVH strongly supports the provincial government’s new public reporting initiative because we believe it will inspire improved performance, enhance patient safety, and strengthen the public’s confidence in Ontario’s hospitals. Public reporting of Hand Hygiene Compliance and other indicators is another, helpful measure to ensure the care provided to our patients is even safer, and improves over time.
What can patients do to help improve their own safety?
Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients. Hand cleaning is one of the best ways you and your health care team can prevent the spread of many infections. Patients and their visitors should also practice good hand hygiene before and after entering patient rooms.