Tracking hand hygiene in hospitals

The most common way of spreading infection in hospitals is on the hands of healthcare providers. Healthcare staff travel from room to room caring for patients, which provides plenty of opportunity for infection-causing organisms to spread from hands to patients.

Hospitals are required to monitor and report annually on compliance with hand hygiene practices. Monitoring is key to improving rates and, in turn, reducing hospital-based infections.

Proper hand hygiene will protect patients and health care providers, reduce the spread of infections and the costs associated with treating infections, reduce hospital lengths of stay and re-admissions, reduce wait times, and prevent deaths. Annual rates for hand hygiene compliance are listed below.

Hand Hygiene Compliance, April 2023 – April 2024

Tracking Infection Rates at Brightshores – Accountability to our Patients

Information on infection rates is used to improve infection control practices throughout the corporation.

All Ontario hospitals are required to report quarterly on a variety of patient safety indicators, including:

  • MRSA Bacteremia (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a germ that lives on the skin and mucous membranes of healthy people. Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection.
  • VRE Bacteremia  (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci)
    Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci are germs that live in the gastrointestinal tract (bowels) of most individuals and generally do not cause harm. Bacteremia is the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream and is referred to as a bloodstream infection.
  • Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP)
    Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) is defined as a pneumonia (lung infection) occurring in patients in an intensive care unit (ICU), requiring, external mechanical breathing support (a ventilator) intermittently or continuously, through a breathing tube for more than 48 hours.
  • SSI (Surgical Site Infection Prevention)
    The number of patients having primary hip or knee surgery who received an appropriate antibiotic within the require amount of time before the start of surgery.
  • Central Line Primary Blood Stream Infection (CLI)
    A central line primary blood stream infection (CLI) can occur when bacteria and/or fungi enters the blood stream, causing a patient to become sick.  In Ontario, all hospitals with ICUs are required to report the number of CLI related to ICU care. 

A quarterly report is available for MRSA, VRE, CLI, VAP, SSI, C.difficile.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care also reports all of these indicators on its own website, at .

Fact Sheets for Patients and Visitors