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Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Promotes Clean Hands on National Awareness Day

Chatham-Kent: May 5, 2014 -- Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) is celebrating National Stop! Clean Your Hands Day. Monday, May 5th, marks the fifth annual national day used to promote hand cleaning around the world. 

Patient education about infection control related matters, such as the importance of hand hygiene, influenza vaccination, and cough etiquette, is done regularly at CKHA. However, the Infection Prevention and Control team will focus on empowering patients to be actively involved in their care to help reduce a person’s risk of developing infections in hospital, as well as increase the confidence in the safety of the care they are receiving. 

Carol Turner, Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator said, “Hand hygiene, by both patients and healthcare providers, remains the number one way to reduce healthcare associated infections, and we want to educate and empower patients to actively participate in their care to reduce the risk of developing hospital acquired infections.” 

“We will be encouraging patients to ask healthcare providers if their hands are clean, prior to receiving care. It is difficult for patients to find the courage to speak up unless they are invited to do so and that is what we plan to do! We believe that patients want to be part of the care they receive. Patients don’t want to be considered difficult patients and helping them speak up can help decrease their risk of infection,” she added. 

At CKHA, a multifaceted, multidisciplinary hand hygiene program, Just Clean Your Hands exists. Hand hygiene compliance is monitored regularly for all healthcare providers and feedback provided in a timely manner to staff, managers, directors and physicians. Hand hygiene compliance is reviewed by the Infection Prevention and Control Committee as part of an ongoing safety agenda. CKHA embraces a philosophy of Patient and Family Centred Care; the values and beliefs of which enable and support partnerships of patients, families, and their healthcare providers. 

Media Contact: 
Lisa Northcott Interim Project Lead 
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance 
(519) 352-6400 ext. 5118

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