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Clinical Support Services

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. In the past, IP&C had to manually input thousands of pieces of audit information. HandyAudit reduces the margin of error.

Who Conducts Audits and what Training is Required?

Only trained auditors use HandyAudit. They are required to attend 4 hours of in-person training before using the system. Additional on-unit practice time is required following the classroom education. Note that there is no train-the-trainer program. New Auditor Training Sessions are held prior to the start of each audit period (typically March and Sept of each year). To register for a New Auditor Training Session on CLiC, please click here. Newly trained auditors also need to spend some time collecting practice audits within their area. Once the staff member is comfortable, they are free to start collecting real-time audits (not in training mode).

Auditors can review data they collect by logging onto the system. Super-Users (who attend an additional training session) can view data for an entire unit/program/facility/area of responsibility and can also create, share and print reports.

All existing auditors are strongly encouraged to attend Hand Hygiene Forums each Spring and Fall. Forums cover key HandyAudit system updates, organizational information, scenarios, common questions, etc. In order to maintain consistency and integrity of the hand hygiene data collected, it is important that all auditors are aware of the content within each Forum. Forums are held in person or online prior to the start of each audit period (in March and Sept). A recording of each Forum is also posted on CLiC so that all auditors can access the information at their own convenience (sign in to CLiC -> select 'workspaces' page -> select 'Infection Prevention & Control Workspace' -> Choose resources for 'Hand Hygiene Auditors').

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. 4 Moments for Hand Hygiene posters (as well as many others) are available for you to post as needed in your areas. Departments receive hand hygiene reports shortly after the audit periods conclude and also recieve hand hygiene rates through their quarterly dashboard (Acute Care only). If you have a trained Super-User within your department, reports can be simply generated at any point in time by that individual.

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 April-May and October-November. Some areas may choose to conduct hand hygiene audits on a more frequent basis.


Hand Hygiene Audit Results

Spring 2018 Audit Results

Using HandyAudit, the following results are available electronically instantaneously to trained Super-Users. Infection Prevention and Control also has the ability to generate reports.

The goal is to have at least two opportunities observed for every facility bed ie: 32 bed unit requires at least 64 opportunities observed. If the area/department is very small or is an outpatient area, the minimum number of opportunities observed should be at least 50. More observations will generate more accurate results, better reflecting hand hygiene practices at the facility.

The target hand hygiene compliance rate for Covenant Health is 90%.


Number of


Hand Hygiene

Corporate 12,393 89.3% Corporate


3839 90.6% GNCH
MCH 2,565 87.5% MCH
Villa Caritas 475 75.4% Villa Caritas
St. Mary's-Camrose 254 91.7% Camrose
EGCCC 1210 97.1% EGCCC
St. Mary's- Trochu 151 80.1% Trochu
Killam Health Centre 93 86.0% Killam
St. Therese- Lethbridge 1399 89.4% Lethbridge
St. Joseph's- Vegreville 116 95.7% Vegreville
St. Joe's Home- Medicine Hat       111 79.3% Medicine Hat
Banff Mineral Springs 367 85.8% Banff
Bonnyville Health Centre 96 91.7% Bonnyville
Our Lady of  Rosary - Castor 247 83.0% Castor
Mary Immaculate - Mundare 75 94.7% Mundare
St. Joseph's Auxiliary 567 86.8% St. Joseph's Aux    
St. Michael's - Lethbridge 127 78.7% Lethbridge
Youville Home          701 93.0% Youville


Hand Hygiene Auditor Information

The following information is directed towards trained COV Hand Hygiene Auditors. Note that auditors must attend an in-person New Auditor Training Session and then must complete on-unit practice audits in order to be trained. There is no train-the-trainer program. For more information regarding training, refer to the orange tab above that states "The HandyAudit System."

HandyAudit Self-Study Booklet for Auditors

iPad Reminders for Users

HandyAudit iPad Q&A Sheet

How to Log into HandyAudit

How to Start an Observation Session

How to End an Observation Session

How to Sync Your Data

Where Can You Find Your Data?

HandyAudit Definitions

HandyAudit Abbreviations/Actions

Clean Object Button

Dirty Object Button

Quick Reference for Aseptic Procedures

How Many Opportunities Have I Collected?

Hand Hygiene Auditor Education on CLiC Workspace

New Auditor Registration on CLiC

HandyAudit Web Portal

HandyAudit Toll Free Support Line: 1-855-EZ-AUDIT