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About the Region
Hand Hygiene

Starting April 1, 2023 we will be going live with the new Clean Hands System.  You can find all resources (including auditor training) here:  Hand Hygiene Auditing | SaskHealthAuthority

Saskatoon's hand hygiene initiative is designed to inform, educate and monitor hand hygiene among staff and physicians in our facilities and long term care homes.

It’s not a campaign. It’s not a project. It’s the way of life that is and will continue to be expected of each of us in Saskatoon.

On this page:

  • Our hand hygiene compliance rates
  • How you can help
  • How are we training our staff
  • Videos
  • Share your story
  • Definitions of the words we use

Our hand hygiene compliance statistics.

We've been auditing on our units for several years. However, as Saskatoon commits to a safety culture, we have decided to put more emphasis on hand hygiene than ever before.

Typically, we observe about 8,000 opportunities for hand hygiene in our regular auditing. In 2012-2013, with our renewed emphasis on hand hygiene, we are on target to perform more than 50,000 observations.

Why? We want to ensure we protect you, our patients, clients and residents. We want to protect ourselves and our families too. Good hand hygiene will ensure we are all as safe as we can be.

The following links show how departments at each of our facilities or in long term care are performing:

These statistics don't include the scrubs done prior to surgery. Those are done 100 per cent of the time by all surgical team members!

How can you help?

When you're in one of our facilities or homes, watch us and tell us how we're doing. If you don't see us clean our hands before treating you or your loved one, ask us to clean our hands. Even if we've cleaned them, we'll do it again where you can see.

When you come into our facilities or long term care homes, clean your hands at the front door using hand gel. When you're going from one room to another or one part of a hospital or care home to another, clean your hands again. Use soap and water or hand gel.

Some definitions:

What do we mean by the words we use? We want to be sure you understand us.

Compliance:  Compliance refers to the actual performing of hand hygiene when it's needed. When you see the statistics in the charts below, compliance indicates how often staff and physicians are performing hand hygiene using soap and water or hand rub whenever they're supposed to.

Audits:  Auditing happens on just about all our acute care wards in the Health Region. Staff members are trained to observe and correct hand hygiene performance and to record their observations. They're looking for their colleagues to perform hand hygiene before and after contact with the patient, resident or client and the care environment. These observations lead us to our compliance rates.

Hand hygiene:  It may seem simple, but what do we mean by the term 'hand hygiene?' We use this term to describe the cleaning of hands whether with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub at appropriate times such as before we interact with our patients, clients and long term care residents, and after we complete those interactions. There are other times too, such as when a care provider may come into contact with body fluids


Hand Hygiene Videos 

Client Experience 

Hearing the voice of the patient, client and resident is important in helping us realize how our actions affect them, especially when it comes to hand hygiene. Hear from Cheryl Lejbak about why it's important to her that staff properly clean their hands when treating her. You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Germ Smart Videos

Germ Smart is a Saskatoon area handwashing program. As much as 80% of germs can be spread by hands and contaminated surfaces. Handwashing is critical in preventing illness. Prevent the spread of germs in your facility.  Visit to access teaching resources, posters and more!  Be Germ Smart - Clean Hands Stop Germs.

  • You can watch the Hand Hygiene for Healthcare Workers - Germ Smart video on YouTube here.
  • You can watch the Germ Smart - Germs video on YouTube here.
  • You can watch the Germ Smart - Wash Your Hands! video on YouTube here.

Clean Hands Save Lives

Good hand hygiene practices are important to keep patients, clients and others safe.  Learn how you can help prevent the spread of infection by watching these three short video clips created by Regina area.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Your 4 Moments for Hand Hygiene

This short video demonstrates Your 4 Moments for Hand Hygiene in a way that anyone can understand regardless of age or language. Play it in waiting rooms or other high traffic areas where patients and their families can see or use it as part of your education sessions. Visit to lean more about the 4 Moments of Hand Hygiene.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Hand Hygiene - It's that Simple

This video shows how unrealistic it is to think we can keep everything we touch cleaned versus simply washing our hands when entering and leaving a patient's room. It is meant to get the point across quickly for busy healthcare workers to see at orientation and annual training. At the end the caregiver has become the patient and asks, "If you were me, what would you do for you?" All "actors", including the voice over, are coworkers who volunteered. You'll love this one!!  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Clean Hands Count

This video for healthcare providers is intended to promote or encourage adherence to CDC hand hygiene recommendations. It is a component of the Clean Hands Count campaign, which also aims to address myths and misperceptions about hand hygiene and empower patients to play a role in their care by asking or reminding healthcare providers to clean their hands.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Just Wash!  Wash Your Hands to Prevent the Spread of Infection

Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of infection and keep your child and family healthy. 

In this video, a team from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia sings and dances to encourage kids, parents and hospital workers to wash their hands.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Stop the Spread of Infection It's in Our Hands

As part of its hand hygiene campaign, "It's In Our Hands," Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center created this video to show faculty and staff how easily we spread germs with our hands and to reinforce the importance proper hand hygiene plays in infection prevention.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Wash Your Hands.  You Have Skin in the Game

Do you have skin in the game?

Research estimates that at least 1 million deaths worldwide could be prevented each year if everyone washed their hands regularly.  Hands are the way 80 percent of germs in our healthcare environment are spread.

Show that you respect your patients, your colleagues, your family and yourself by practicing good hand hygiene all the time.

You do have skin in the game.  You can watch the video on YouTube here

Wash Your Hands - It Just Makes Sense

This video was made by Seema Marwaha and the CICC at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network to encourage hand washing amongst care-providers.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Mrs. A (MRSA) Hand Hygiene Video by Chatham-Kent Health Authority

The video was created with a 1940's feel and features a terrible villain, MRS. A (also known as the antibiotic resistant organism Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA). When a mysterious outbreak occurs at CKHA, the Infection Prevention and Control investigators interview a series of healthcare workers to find the source of the outbreak only to find out that MRS.A is in the facility. Through a collaborative approach, MRS. A is captured and once again, CKHA is safe from this antibiotic resistant organism.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

The Facts:  Hand Hygiene

No lectures here, just a fun way to remind ourselves about the importance of hand hygiene. You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Speak Up:  Prevent the Spread of Infection

See The Joint Commission's series of animated Speak Up™ video on infection control.  The cast of characters in the infection control video encounter situations where they have to "speak up" in everyday life, such as asking others to wash their hands before preparing food, asking co-workers to stay home when they're sick, and encouraging others to get a flu shot to prevent the spread of illness.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Doc Vader on Hand Hygiene

Do not spread pestilence throughout the Galaxy! Thanks to UMC Hospital of Southern Nevada for helping us keep our hands out of the Dark Side.  You can watch the video on YouTube here.

Last Modified: Wednesday, April 12, 2023 |
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