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CPSI Share                                                  
6/16/2013 6:00 PM

STOP! Clean Your Hands Day was celebrated on Monday, May 6th, 2013, to coincide with the World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign to improve hand hygiene, SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands. The fourth national Canadian event was designed to support the global campaign, with a focus on evaluation and monitoring to increase the knowledge and perception of healthcare-associated infection and the importance of hand hygiene; and to profile patient participation in hand hygiene promotion and improvement activities.

Promotional packages containing 4 Moments Cards, Patient and Family Hand Hygiene Guides, post-it notes and more were distributed to 1,003 Canadian healthcare organizations that registered for STOP! Clean Your Hands Day. The package also included flyers promoting the use of the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment tool and a new data collection process to support organizations in their hand hygiene observations.

In the weeks leading up to STOP! Clean Your Hands Day, four webinars were presented to help healthcare organizations learn from experts in the field on how to improve hand hygiene practices. The topics included Ten Barriers to Hand Hygiene (a French presentation); Patient and Visitor Involvement: The Hand Hygiene Missing Link; Patient Involvement in Hand Hygiene; and Hand Hygiene Measurement and Patient Safety Metrics.  The one-hour webinars were recorded and have been posted for viewing at

A key component of STOP! Clean Your Hands Day 2013 was the “Dragons’ Den” style What’s Your Hand In It? competition to showcase innovative ideas to promote hand hygiene that involved patients and families and demonstrated improvement; 18 entries were received from healthcare organizations across the country.  Five organizations were then invited to pitch their approach to improving hand hygiene to a panel of judges and over 90 webinar participants. The panel asked questions of the presenters and critiqued the presentations to determine the winning entry based on patient and family involvement, staff engagement, and monitoring and feedback of results.

Congratulations to Hamilton Health Sciences Centre (HHSC) for their winning entry, a personalized poster with visuals of the children of HHSC staff that reminds patients and their families and staff to clean their hands. The personal touch and the involvement of the patient and family in the design resulted in a dynamic and exciting campaign that can be applied to various care settings. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute will now work with Hamilton Health Sciences Centre on ways to spread their work across the country.  See the sidebar article What’s Your Hand In It? for more information on the HHSC entry.

Kudos to the other finalists whose innovative ideas included various  elements for improving hand hygiene such as the LIFE Hand Hygiene bundle (Leadership, Innovation, Family and patient engagement and Education); and a patient driven initiative to improve hand hygiene compliance with patients and families. Click here to view the webinar and presentations from the finalists.

“I can certainly speak for my fellow Dragons (judges) when I say that we were blown away by the quality of the pitches we heard, highlighting the tremendous work that is happening across Canada to improve hand hygiene in both healthcare and community settings,” says Hugh MacLeod, CEO, Canadian Patient Safety Institute.

Tools and resources to support STOP! Clean Your Hands Day are available on the website   The Canada’s Hand Hygiene e-learning module provided healthcare workers and volunteers with information on hand hygiene and how to improve hand hygiene in their organization.  The online learning module was developed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Discovery Campus.  The module can be accessed in English and French for individuals in Canada and internationally, at

During STOP! Clean Your Hands Day, organizations were asked to tell us how they were celebrating. Tweets and email submissions collected on “What’s Happening Across the Country” included many creative ideas, including pop quizzes, stories, photos, comments, and the launch of a website. The real-time sharing contributed to another successful national hand hygiene event across Canada.

STOP! Clean Your Hands Day participants were also entered into a draw to receive a GOJO care package.  Congratulations to Alice Amero, Tideview Terrace (Digby County, NS), Margie Foster, Grand River Hospital (Kitchener, ON) and Denise Erskine, Peel Manor LTCC (Brampton, ON).

STOP! Clean Your Hands Day was presented by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute in partnership with Accreditation Canada, CHICA Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada; and sponsored by GOJO.