Clean Hands Save Lives

Canadian healthcare organizations take part in STOP! Clean Your Hands Day

BRANTFORD, Ontario, May 5, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), Accreditation Canada and the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association-Canada (CHICA-Canada), have joined forces to support the practice of optimal hand hygiene in healthcare.

Stop! Clean Your Hands Day is taking place today. CPSI is leading the Canadian initiative in conjunction with the World Health Organization's global program. The day is an opportunity for healthcare organizations to get creative with promoting and practicing effective hand hygiene. More than 800 healthcare organizations have registered for STOP! Clean Your Hands Day.

"Effective hand hygiene is the most important thing you can do to protect patients from healthcare associated infections," says Hugh MacLeod, CEO of CPSI. "We believe that every patient experience should be safe and that preventing harm is worth the effort. I applaud those organizations that are taking part in STOP! Clean Your Hands Day."

The launch of STOP! Clean Your Hands Day is being celebrated at Brant Community Healthcare System. Their viral video "I Wanna Wash My Hands" is the inspiration behind the Canadian Hand Hygiene Video Competition which was announced today.

The competition is a chance for organizations to showcase their commitment to hand hygiene excellence. The Canadian Hand Hygiene Faculty will serve as judges for the competition and a prize will be awarded to the winning organization.

"One of the single most effective means of curbing the spread of infection is proper hand hygiene," says Wendy Nicklin, President and CEO of Accreditation Canada. "To keep ourselves and our patients safe we must not only commit to improving, we must make hand hygiene our priority and our practice."

"For nearly 200 years there has been evidence that performing hand hygiene is THE primary action people can take to prevent infection and protect themselves from common viral illness," says Donna Wiens, RN, BN, CIC, President, CHICA-Canada. "It is so simple and effective; yet even in healthcare settings hand hygiene is bypassed nearly 50 per cent of time. Let's all get on board, for our clients, families and ourselves. Promote best practice in hand hygiene, just STOP! Clean Your Hands."