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CPSI Share                                                  
5/31/2012 6:00 PM

When the Canadian Patient Safety Institute issued a call for entries for the Stick it to Hand Hygiene! sticker design contest, Hôpital Montfort in Ottawa quickly adapted a poster they had developed for their hand hygiene program and entered it into the competition. 

“The poster that was developed for an awareness campaign included a witty play on words (l’hygiène des mains ... j’mainplique) to go along with the graphic created by a local design firm,” says Josée Shymanski, Manager, Infection Control Program at Hôpital Montfort. 

The Stick it to Hand Hygiene! sticker design contest was conceived as a creative way to engage healthcare workers, patients and family members in the promotion of optimal hand hygiene. The competition yielded 33 entries, with the Hôpital Montfort sticker selected as the winning design. A total of 200,000 stickers were printed and distributed to healthcare organizations across the country that registered for STOP! Clean Your Hands Day, held May 7, 2012. To view a short video of the creative entries received, visit

On STOP! Clean Your Hands Day, the Quality and Patient Safety staff at Montfort dressed in purple and manned the hospital’s entrances to hand out the sticker to staff, patients and visitors. They also provided an extra sticker that could then be given to someone when they saw them washing their hands.

In April 2011, Hôpital Montfort implemented a rigorous multifaceted hand hygiene program that contained measures to improve hand hygiene practices among staff and patients. Numerous hand hygiene audits were conducted, enabling new opportunities to raise awareness among health professionals and triggering a marked reduction in infection and isolation rates.

Montfort’s infection rates have been reduced by 50 per cent over the past year, which translates to 90 fewer patients being placed in isolation. The compliance rates for hand washing prior to patient or patient environment contact went from 46.3 at the start of last year to 79 per cent in the last quarter.

 “Our staff has worked very hard to improve hand washing compliance and bring infection rates down and we are very proud of the results,” says Shymanski. “Winning this sticker competition really helped to crown our efforts, but our ultimate goal will be achieved when everyone incorporates good hand hygiene into their everyday practice.”​