Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety

October 20, 2006 15:00 ET

Hands That Care Must be Clean Hands

CANADIAN PATIENT SAFETY WEEK LAUNCHED TODAY IN MANITOBA: Campaign Promotes Hand Washing As One Of The Best Means of Preventing Infections In Hospital-Like Settings

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 20, 2006) - The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety, in collaboration with its partners and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) launched Canadian Patient Safety Week in Manitoba today. The Week will continue until October 27.

CPSI's theme for their national campaign, Patient Safety: It's In Your Hands - Clean them well,Clean them often, emphasizes the importance of hand washing in patient safety.

Manitoba health care organizations will join in cross-Canada efforts to raise awareness of patient safety initiatives, in particular, hand hygiene and the role it plays in reducing healthcare-acquired infections. "We live in an age of super bugs like SARS, drug-resistant bacteria and battle an aggressive winter flu and cold season," said Dr. Paul Thomas, Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety Chair and CPSI Board Member. "It may seem rather simplistic to focus on washing one's hands - It's something that your Mom or Dad always told you to do - yet it remains one of the most effective ways of ensuring we don't acquire or pass on germs and diseases."

The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM) hand washing initiative is featured on www.patientsafetyweek.ca as a leader on the issue of hand hygiene for having taken one of the most proactive and public campaigns in our nation regarding hand hygiene. The College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba is the professional regulatory body for more than 11,500 registered nurses in Manitoba.

"Frequent hand washing is your best defense against the spread of disease and germs," College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba President Sheila Dresen, RN said. "It is an important message for all Manitobans and is especially important for all health care providers."

Health professionals in many areas of the province are working to raise awareness of patient safety in a variety of creative, entertaining and innovative ways. Highlights include:

- The WRHA's Patient Safety Advisory Council will join with high-profile local figures in the auditorium at Seven Oaks General Hospital to demonstrate and promote proper hand hygiene on Tuesday, October 24.

- The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety will host a Provincial Patient Safety Conference at the Delta Winnipeg Wednesday morning, October 25. The keynote speaker is Dr. Paul Uhlig, a Cincinnati-based cardiothoracic surgeon and nationally recognized authority on healthcare teamwork and patient safety. Dr. Uhlig was able to show that adding patient and close family members to patient rounds resulted in a significant reduction in patient morbidity, mortality and length of stay (and therefore a parallel reduction in hospital costs).

- A "Leading Us to Excellence Award" will also be awarded at the Provincial Safety Conference.

More information on events and activities during Canadian Patient Safety Week in our province can be found at the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety website: http://www.mbips.ca/safetyweek.html.

The Institute was created in 2004 to promote, coordinate and facilitate activities that have a positive impact on patient safety throughout Manitoba.

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