Hand Hygiene

Research shows that hand hygiene is the single most effective way to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Beginning in March 2008, hospitals across Ontario participated in a comprehensive training program called Just Clean Your Hands. Since that time, trained observers in hospital settings have been conducting hand hygiene audits (using a provincial audit tool) and recording what they see. With specific sample sizes based on hospital size, hospitals must then report their compliance rates to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC).

Ontario hospitals are posting their hand hygiene compliance rates as percentages for time periods identified by the MOHLTC, using the following formula:

# of times hand hygiene performed

X 100

# of observed hand hygiene indications

These percentages also reflect:

  1. hand hygiene before initial patient/patient environment contact by combined health care provider type (e.g., nurses, allied health professionals, physicians
  2. hand hygiene after patient/patient environment contact by combined health care provider type.

MHA Hand Hygiene Compliance Rates 2010


Before patient/patient environment contact

After Patient/ patient environment contact