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Hand Hygiene

Clean hands are everyone's responsibility - health care providers, patients and visitors.


Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals. Improvements to hand hygiene could potentially reduce health-care associated infection rates by 30-50%.

That is why the province and health authorities have made proper hand hygiene one of our top priorities. Our goal is for all healthcare providers including, nurses, physicians, contracted services, volunteers, and students in clinical settings to comply with the Hand Hygiene Policy 100% of the time.

Tracking our Progress

Island Health monitors hand hygiene rates through Hand Hygiene Observations (formerly called Hand Hygiene Audits). Observations take place across Island Health to support staff to meet hand hygiene standards.

We report our progress with semi-annual updates on hand hygiene rates to the Provincial Infection Control Network (PICNet). We publish these rates to share our commitment to improvement.

Patients as Observers Program

Patients receiving care at one of our hospitals or health centres may be asked by one of our volunteers to participate in the Patients as Observers program for clean and healthy hands.  This means having to complete an anonymous survey card asking patients to check a box if they see one of our healthcare providers wash their hands. This is a voluntary program.  Watch our video: Patients as Partners in their Care to learn more about the program.