Tracking hand hygiene in hospitals

The most common way of spreading infection in hospitals is on the hands of health care providers. Health care staff travel from room to room caring for patients, which provides plenty of opportunity for infection-causing organisms to spread from hands to patients.

Hospitals are required to monitor and report annually on compliance with hand hygiene practices. Monitoring is key to improving rates and, in turn, reducing hospital based infections.

Proper hand hygiene will protect patients and health care providers, reduce the spread of infections and the costs associated with treating infections, reduce hospital lengths of stay and re-admissions, reduce wait times, and prevent deaths.Annual rates for hand hygiene compliance are listed below.

Hand Hygiene Compliance, April 2019 – April 2020

Tracking Infection Rates at GBHS – Accountability to our Patients

Information on infection rates is used to improve infection control practices throughout the corporation.

All Ontario hospitals are required to report quarterly on a variety of patient safety indicators, including:

  • MRSA Bacteremia (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • VRE Bacteremia  (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci)
  • Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP)
  • SSI (Surgical Site Infection Prevention)
  • Central Line Primary Blood Stream Infection (CLI)
  • HSMR (Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio)

A quarterly report is available for MRSA, VRE, CLI, VAP, SSI, C.difficile

Hospitals are required to report every month on the number of new hospital-acquired C. difficle cases. For the month of March 2017, the latest time frame for which data is available, there was 1 hospital acquired case reported at Grey Bruce Health Services.

Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratio (HSMR) is reported annually.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care also reports all of these indicators on its own website, at .

Fact Sheets for Patients and Visitors

What is MRSA?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Occasionally S. aureus can cause an infection.

What is MRSA Bacteraemia?
Bacteraemia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection.

What is VRE?
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci are germs that live in the gastrointestinal tract (bowels) of most individuals and generally do not cause harm.

What is VRE Bacteraemia?
Bacteraemia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection. A VRE bacteraemia case is a patient identified with laboratory confirmed VRE.

What is C.Diff?
Clostridium difficile (also called C. difficile or C. diff.) is a bacterium that can produce a toxin or type of poison that can cause swelling in the intestinal tract.

Patient and Visitor Information on Infection Control