New posters by SickKids patients a reminder of hand hygiene importance
By Tenney Loweth, Intern, Communications & Public Affairs
Like saying a quick “thank you” or holding a door open for someone, cleaning your hands is a small thing that makes a big difference. No one understands this more than our patients and families, who rely on everyone at the hospital, staff and visitors alike, to clean our hands to prevent the spread of infection.
Posters drawn by patients were introduced as part of the Clean Hands Prevent Harm campaign last year to remind others how simple but important hand hygiene is at SickKids. As part of our current Quality Improvement Plan, SickKids aims to improve how often our health-care providers clean their hands from 85 to 89 per cent. The posters have no doubt have helped us reach the current year-to-date compliance rate of 90 per cent.
“We wanted to involve patients in the poster campaign to create the reminder that kids here rely on everyone else to keep them safe from germs and infection,” says Renee Freeman, Infection Control Practitioner. “We wanted to include their ideas and perceptions about the importance of cleaning hands and what it means to them. We felt it was important to have patients as partners to create a culture of safety.”
Seven posters were created this year and can be seen around the hospital. Here’s what some of the artists had to say about their creations and why they’re so important:
“I had fun drawing my picture. I liked putting happy faces on the water, soap and the clean hand. It’s important to me that the staff who take care of me have clean hands and so I don’t get sick and other patients too. I make sure I clean my hands too.” - Revan
“I feel proud when I see my poster because I feel like I am making difference by encouraging everyone to wash their hands. It makes me feel comfortable and safe knowing the nurses and doctors clean their hands after they see other patients before they see me. I made the poster fun for kids to encourage them to wash their hands too.” - Yasmine