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Grand River Hospital records major improvement in hand hygiene and reduction in C. difficile infections

April 29 2011

Grand River Hospital is seeing the results of efforts to provide a safer care environment for patients. Since 2008, the hard work of hospital staff, physicians and volunteers has led to a near doubling of hand hygiene before and after patient contact along with a decline in Clostridium difficile cases.

“Improving quality of care involves small and large steps. Better hand hygiene and reduced C. difficile infections are theresult of many changes that we’ve made throughout the hospital to improve patient safety,” said Sue Robertson, GRH’s vice president of clinical services and chief nursing officer.
 
Grand River Hospital's most recently reported rates are as follows:
 

Freeport Site

2008

2009

2010

Hand hygiene before contact with the patient/their environment

33.33%

41.56%

82.58%

Hand hygiene after contact with the patient/their environment

50.29%

75.83%

92.86%

C. difficile cases

13

7

4

 

KW Site

2008

2009

2010

Hand hygiene before contact with the patient/their environment

29.99%

46.13%

76.98%

Hand hygiene after contact with the patient/their environment

50.47%

69.63%

93.07%

C. difficile cases

53

31

21

 
Steps that GRH has put in place to improve hand hygiene include:
  • Installing new, brightly-coloured alcohol hand rub dispensers throughout the hospital. GRH’s two main sites have over 2,000 alcohol dispensers in key areas. Volunteers also make an extra effort to provide hand rub to patients and visitors entering the building;
  • Improved education in hospital units; and
  • Setting improvement targets in program areas with monthly audits to track progress.
 
GRH has also focused on reducing C. difficile infections through:
  • Special attention by housekeeping staff to make sure rooms with C. difficile patients are cleaned regularly and thoroughly;
  • Improved turn around times for C.difficile toxin results from the microbiology lab;
  • Early efforts of the antibiotic stewardship committee/program to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics in the hospital;
  • Computer-assisted detection of patients with illnesses involving diarrhea, a C. difficle symptom. Infection prevention and control staff review the cases for follow-up; and
  • Early use of isolation to reduce the risk of further infections.
 
GRH’s C. difficle infection rate compares favourably to the Ontario average. In 2010, the KW Site reported a rate of 0.21cases per 1,000 patient days while Freeport saw 0.07 cases per 1,000 patient days. The provincial average for January 2011was 0.34 cases per 1,000 patient days.
 
For more information, please contact:
Mark Karjaluoto, Director of Communications
Office: (519) 749-4300 extension 2788, Pager: (519) 244-3088, mark.karjaluoto@grhosp.on.ca
 
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