Little germs, big impact: Patients tell us why hand hygiene is so important

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Little germs, big impact: Patients tell us why hand hygiene is so important

Toronto, November 9, 2015

By Melissa Di Costanzo

Maria Timmofeeva and her daughter, Lily
Maria Timmofeeva and her daughter, Lily.

Hearing patients such as Shannon and Maria, we are reminded of just how important hand hygiene is at hospitals like St. Michael’s.

Hand hygiene has always been top-of-mind here. It’s our job to make sure you are protected from infection and viruses.

Our goal is to ensure everyone washes their hands before and after touching a patient or the objects around patients (such as blankets or equipment), every time. Our goal is to also ensure everyone cleans their hands before aseptic procedures, and after body fluid exposure risk.

We’ve provided more education and feedback to all units. We’ve also helped doctors and staff finds new ways to add correct hand cleaning practices into their day-to-day work.

Staff and health-care providers on units have also implemented their own initiatives, including reviewing the four moments of hand hygiene at the bedside, adding tape to the floor in patient care areas that do not have physical walls or barriers, improving work flow by adding hand sanitizers to areas such as the bedside, and sharing unit rates at staff meetings. Staff will also remind each other and doctors to clean their hands.

This work is part of St. Michael’s annual Quality Improvement Plan. Get a quick overview of the plan and our quality priorities for 2015-16. Learn more about our work to continually improve quality of care at St. Michael’s at

Quality at St. Michaels: Hand Hygiene
It’s our job to ensure our patients are protected from infection and viruses. Learn how St. Michael’s is improving its hand-cleaning rates. If you would like to access this video in a different language, please visit our YouTube page.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

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