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CPSI Share                                                    
7/18/2018 6:00 PM

Every year, 220,000 Canadian patients (approximately one in nine) will develop an infection during their hospital stay, and an estimated 8,000 of those patients will lose their lives. The cost to treat hospital-acquired infections is estimated to be more than $100 million annually. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that in some facilities, a staggering 90 per cent of healthcare workers do not clean their hands effectively.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute is leading a number of efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections. A public awareness campaign, STOP! Clean Your Hands Day, is helping to change behaviours; and a pan-Canadian initiative to implement standardized surveillance definitions is addressing how infections are defined, measured and reported. We invite you to read on to learn more.

STOP! Clean Your Hands Day

Cleaning your hands is one of the best ways to stop the spread of infection. Each year, thousands of healthcare providers in hundreds of healthcare sites across Canada join the fight against the spread of infection by participating in STOP! Clean Your Hands Day – led by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, in conjunction with the WHO SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign.

STOP! Clean Your Hands Day was held May 4, 2018, promoting the theme, "The Bug STOPS Here!" Federal Health Minister, Ginette Petitpas Taylor; Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam; and Board Chair of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Dr. Brian Wheelock participated in a media event to promote optimal hand hygiene.


Dr. Brian Wheelock (CPSI) and the Honourable Ginette Petipas Taylor (Federal Minister of Health)

pair of online quizzes – one for healthcare providers and one for members of the public – were promoted to put hand hygiene knowledge to the test. The provider quiz was taken 1,432 times and the public quiz 637 times. Click here to determine how squeaky clean your hands are! 

The STOP! Clean Your Hands Day hashtags #thebugstopshere and #stopcleanyourhandsday generated 2.11 million impressions with 413 tweets from 270 participants.

A webinar to discuss the global perspective on hand hygiene explored practical and actionable ways to improve hand hygiene compliance and how hand hygiene impacts other important infection prevention and control strategies. Featured speakers included: Professor Benedetta Allegranzi, World Health Organisation and Lori Moore, GOJO Industries.  To view the archived webcast, click here.

Hand hygiene is important all year round, not just on STOP! Clean Your Hands Day. Canada's Hand Hygiene Challenge supports organizations in their efforts to improve hand hygiene. For more information, visit

Standardized surveillance definitions for healthcare-associated infections

Under the leadership of Infection Prevention and Control Canada (IPAC Canada), the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada (AMMI Canada) and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, standardized surveillance definitions for healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in acute care and long term care (LTC) have been identified. The adoption and application of these pan-Canadian definitions will impact how infections are defined, measured and reported, and ultimately help to reduce infections. Click here to download the HAI definitions.

To improve the consistency of surveillance practices, healthcare jurisdictions, facilities and networks can support this work by endorsing, promoting and using these case definitions. The lead organizations are working with provincial, territorial and national jurisdictions to promote their widespread adoption.

In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, and the Canadian Institute for Health Information are working in collaboration to identify viable solutions for the standardized pan-Canadian collection, analysis and reporting of healthcare-associated infections.

For more information, visit