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Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is the act of removing and/or killing microorganisms (germs) on the hands.  When performed correctly, hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and infections.

In health care settings, hand hygiene is used to remove microorganisms that have been picked up through contact with patients, contaminated equipment or the environment.  Hand hygiene may be performed either by using soap and running water, or with alcohol-based hand rubs.

The HandyAudit System

Wondering why our hand hygiene auditors are using iPads? It’s a part of the HandyAudit system to better observe and record hand hygiene practices at our facilities.

Why HandyAudit?

It reduces bias and makes results more reliable and consistent: With a focus on observation, auditors don’t have to make judgments on whether or not a hand hygiene moment was missed. They simply record a person’s actions. This also increases consistency of reports between auditors and sites.

It’s faster and more accurate: Results recorded on the iPad are instantly sent to the system, making reports available immediately. With these timely reports, we can target hand hygiene issues right away. No additional data-entry is required by Infection Prevention and Control (IP&C). In the past, IP&C had to manually input thousands of pieces of audit information. HandyAudit will reduce the margin of error.

Who Will be Auditing?

Only trained auditors will use HandyAudit. They are required to attend 3.5 hours of training before using the system.

Auditors can review results as a whole by logging onto the system. In the future, they will be able to review reports specific to their units or departments.

What Does this Mean for you?

Staff involved in direct patient care will be audited. It is always important to follow the Four Moments of hand hygiene, even if you aren’t a part of direct care.

Visit the hand hygiene tools below for more information. Updated 4 Moments posters are also available for you to post as needed in your areas. Departments will receive reports shortly after the audits and also through quarterly updates on the dashboard. How Often do Audits take place? As part of our commitment to delivering safe care, Covenant Health conducts biannual hand hygiene compliance audits during the Spring and Fall. Audits take place throughout Covenant Health during the months of March/April and September/October.

Hand Hygiene Audit Results

Fall  2016 Audit Results

By using HandyAudit, the following results were available weeks earlier. Reports could also be easily broken down into units and programs.

The goal of Infection Prevention and Control is to have at least two observations for every facility bed. More observations will generate more accurate results, better reflecting hand hygiene practices at the facility.


Number of


Hand Hygiene

Corporate 9, 747 86.3% Corporate


3, 149 87.3% GNCH
MCH 2,017 84.6% MCH
Villa Caritas 300 82.3% Villa Caritas
St. Mary's-Camrose 224 95.5 % Camrose
EGCCC 811 92.7 % EGCCC
St. Mary's- Trochu 92 96.7 % Trochu
Killam Health Centre 87 96.6 % Killam
St. Therese- Lethbridge 443 71.8% Lethbridge
St. Joseph's- Vegreville 180 97.8 % Vegreville
St. Joe's Home- Medicine Hat             65 89.2% Medicine Hat
Banff Mineral Springs 565 79.6 % Banff
Bonnyville Health Centre 96 76.0% Bonnyville
Our Lady of  Rosary - Castor 77 98.7 % Castor
Mary Immaculate - Mundare 61 83.6% Mundare
St. Joseph's Auxiliary 484 94.6% St. Joseph's Aux     
St. Michael's - Lethbridge 503 83.1% Lethbridge
Youville Home                539 82.4% Youville

Corporate Hand Hygiene Compliance Site Comparison Graph