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About Us - Our Performance - Hand Hygiene Compliance - Overview


Mackenzie Health is publicly reporting hand hygiene compliance rates and other indicators of excellent hand hygiene practices beginning April 30, 2009. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) will also report the rates on their website (


What is hand hygiene compliance?
Hand hygiene is something we all do but there is a specific set of hand hygiene guidelines for healthcare providers set out by the Ontario MOHLTC, along with many other international organizations concerned with infection prevention and control.


Experts agree that good hand hygiene is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections. Through auditing the practices of our healthcare providers, we are able to find out if in fact, they are cleaning their hands the right way and at the right times, in keeping with the Ontario MOHLTC's guidelines.


Why is hand hygiene so important?
Effective hand hygiene practices in hospitals plays a key role in improving patient, family and healthcare provider safety and in preventing the spread of healthcare-associated infections. It is a different way of thinking about safety and patient care and involves everyone in the hospital, including patients and healthcare providers.


How do we practice good hand hygiene?
Bacteria are mainly spread by unwashed hands. Always clean your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet.

Using hand sanitizer is the preferred way clean your hands, except when hands are visibly soiled, then washing hands with soap and water is the best method.


Wash hands frequently for at least 15 seconds, especially:

  • after visiting the washroom,
  • before handling, preparing, serving or eating food,
  • when hands look or feel dirty,
  • after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing,
  • when providing care to an ill person,
  • when visiting a hospital or long-term care home,
  • at the entrance of the facility,
  • before entering a patient’s room,
  • upon leaving a patient’s room,
  • before providing any hands on care,
  • after providing any hands on care,
  • before eating,
  • after eating,
  • at the exit of the facility, and
  • after changing a baby’s diaper.


Information for Patients and Visitors

As the single most effective way to reduce the spread of infections, hand hygiene is an important practice for health care providers and patients alike.


What are healthcare-associated infections?
Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called health care-associated infections.


What can patients do to help improve their own safety?
Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients. Hand cleaning is one of the best ways you and your healthcare team can prevent the spread of many infections. Patients and their visitors should also practice good hand hygiene before and after enteringpatient rooms.


More patient-specific information is available at and, and


If you have any questions about our hospital’s infection prevention and control program, please contact Mackenzie Health Infection Prevention and Control Department at

Mackenzie Health / 10 Trench St. Richmond Hill, On. L4C 4Z3 / Richmond Hill Line: 905-883-1212 or Vaughan Line: 905-832-4554 / TTY Service: 905-883-2123