connectionsupdate JULY 21, 2008
Putting Patients First
St. Joseph’s Health Centre Launches Hand Hygiene Campaign
St. Joseph’s Health Centre launched a Hand Hygiene program on July 14. As a way of demonstrating our success
factor of “Putting patients first”, the organization has enrolled in the Ministry of Health’s “Just Clean Your Hands”
Campaign, a partnership that involves the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Accreditation Canada, Public Health
Agency of Canada, Safer Healthcare Now and the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association, Canada.
Despite the fact that hospital infections continue to kill 8,000 -12,000 Canadians every year, compliance with hand
hygiene continues to be less than 40 per cent on average. The campaign’s goal is to promote the importance of hand
hygiene in reducing the occurrence of health care associated infections (HAIs) in Canada.
Reports suggest that hand hygiene improvements could potentially reduce HAI rates by up to 50 per cent, and that
patients with one or more HAIs during in-patient stay remain in hospital and incur costs on average three times greater
than uninfected patients.
With this in mind, it is important that as an organization we demonstrate not only our commitment to this campaign but
also our commitment to putting patients first and delivering the safest care. It is our responsibility as employees and
physicians to practice proper hand hygiene and to educate our patients and visitors about their role in preventing and
reducing HAIs. St. Joseph’s hand hygiene campaign begins with a pilot study on 4 East -Medicine and ICU followed
by the rest of the organization.
We know that one of the barriers to effective hand hygiene is skin breakdown, and as such a hand care program will
be available in tandem with the campaign. This program will operate through the Occupational Health and Safety
department, and staff will be able to receive appropriate hand care should the need arise. The campaign will involve
ongoing audits of employee and physician compliance with hand hygiene practices, as well as education and training
via an online education module available on the intranet. Staff will also be asked to complete a hand hygiene
knowledge/perception survey, which will be available through survey monkey.
For further information please contact campaign leads Nadine Agard, Manager Patient Safety and Diana Petrusic,
Infection Control Practitioner.
Join us in the fight against Healthcare Associated Infections!
Clean Hands Save Lives.
S t . J o s e p h ’ s H e a l t h C e n t r e – To r o n t o
Inspire Our People
Encouraging Kids to Keep Learning During the Summer Holidays
After the school year comes to a close, thoughts of math learning. Local museums are always a great place to go
and writing may be turning into visions of sleeping in, swim- and are very popular with kids. Go online to see if a
ming and playing with friends in the sun. There are many museum near you is offering any discounts or summer
things you can do to make sure kids have fun during their programs and events for children and families. Zoos and
summer holiday while still preparing them for their return to farms are also exciting places to explore. Many offer special
the classroom when school resumes in September. shows and activities for families to do together such as
picking berries, hay rides and feeding the animals.
Limit TV. With no mental or physical stimulation, kids not
only lose some of their brain power by lounging around in Get creative. Doing arts and crafts is a perfect way to get
front of the television, but are also more likely to gain the other side of a child’s brain working. Bring the outdoors
weight. So, limit your child’s access to TV and video games inside by doing art with pinecones to make a birdfeeder,
and encourage them to get outside and get moving instead. gathering sticks to make a house, or just letting kids ‘wing it’
and decide what they want to do on their own. Whether it is
Go hiking. Hiking on local trails not only gets kids off the painting, colouring, stamping or building masterpieces with
couch, but is also a great opportunity for them to discover play-dough, all are great options to keep your child’s
an unexplored world of plant and wildlife that may exist creative juices flowing and brain power growing.
close to your own neighbourhood.
Immerse the family in other cultures. If you are going on
This is an excellent way to teach children about different
a family trip this summer, take the time to research the
plants and animals, and if you do not already know yourself,
destination beforehand. Talk to your kids about the different
you can learn together.
things they will experience there - climate, food, dress, local
customs, etc. It is a great way to get them excited for the
Encourage reading. The library has a wealth of information
on the plants and animals you may have seen on your hike.
If you make a trip there, help your child choose some books Staying local? Why not have different themed nights where
to read. Whether they can read on their own or with your you can cook a meal together and teach your kids about the
assistance, encourage budding bookworms to choose culture the food comes from? They can learn about the joy
reading material that is both challenging and interesting to of cooking, maintain their measurement skills and explore a
them. Help them learn to enjoy reading without always new culture all at the same time. When left to their own
associating books with academia. No matter the topic, devices, kids are the most creative and imaginative people
reading will help keep kids minds active. around us. So be sure not to schedule all their time this
summer and give them a chance to play together and just
In fact, research has shown that the amount of independent
reading a child does outside of school relates to their growth
in vocabulary, verbal fluency, reading comprehension and
general knowledge. Kids who read on their own improve
their reading skills, have greater content knowledge and
score higher on achievement tests than children who do not
crack a book open outside of school. If your kids are less
than enthusiastic, consider putting together an incentive
program to help keep them motivated to read and sneakily
cultivate a joy for reading. Create a chart and put a sticker
on the chart each time they finish a book.
If they are younger, they could be given a treat or a special
privilege each time they reach a certain number of books
read. If they are older, choosing a place to visit over the
weekend or an extra hour to play with friends may help.
30 The Queensway, Toronto, Ontario M6R 1B5
Go on field trips. There are so many great places to visit in T: 416-530-6000 W: www.stjoe.on.ca
the summer that are fun, but still incorporate education and
S t . J o s e p h ’ s H e a l t h C e n t r e – To r o n t o