Hand Hygiene Compliance Among Health Care Workers

Hand Hygiene Compliance Rates: April 30, 2022


Before initial patient/patient environment contact 

After patient/patient environment contact

St. Joseph's Hospital



Parkwood Institute Main Building



Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building



Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care



archived rates

About this patient safety indicator:
Effective hand hygiene is the single, most effective way to reduce the risk of health care associated infections.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care requires that Ontario hospitals annually report their hand hygiene compliance rates to the public.

Auditing hand hygiene provides a benchmark for improvement and helps to identify the most appropriate education, training and promotion.

How are the rates calculated?
Over a period of several months, hand hygiene auditors observe care teams’ hand hygiene practices. 

The compliance rate is calculated by taking the total number of compliances with each opportunity, and dividing it by the total number of opportunities observed.

How is St. Joseph’s improving hand hygiene compliance rates?
Many initiatives are underway including ongoing infection prevention education, participation in provincial hand hygiene campaigns and core competency training programs, installing alcohol-based hand rub at patients’ bedsides, and a hand hygiene video shown at all orientation sessions.

Shouldn’t health care providers already know how to clean their hands?
Health care providers are cleaning their hands, and continually improving the practice as more is learned about hand hygiene best practices. We’re changing the culture so cleaning hands in the right way at the right time becomes second nature.

How can the public and patients help with hand hygiene?
We encourage everyone to use alcohol based hand rub, which is more effective than soap and water if hands are not visibly soiled. It is available at all entrances and in many locations throughout our facilities.