Infection Prevention and Control

At the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Group, patient safety is a top priority. In order to help keep patients safe, we aim to reduce the spread of communicable diseases and hospital-acquired infections. The Infection Prevention and Control Program at The Royal is developed using evidence-based practices and procedures. It involves many aspects of keeping patients, staff and visitors safe including the surveillance of infectious diseases, hand hygiene, education, communication, and monitoring outbreaks. We strive to prevent and reduce the spread of infections between health care workers, patients, and visitors.

Our Infection Control staff are active in programs to reduce the spread of communicable diseases and hospital-acquired infections and to provide education to staff, visitors and patients on these topics. To make sure we keep track of infections and to ensure our rates of infection stay low, we have a program to monitor infection rates. Our ultimate goal is to keep our patients safe, and provide excellent care to all who need our services.

As of 2010, The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care requires Ontario Hospitals to publicly report on nine patient safety indicators. The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Care Group report on the following indicators:

For more information on Patient Safety Indicator results at Health Quality Ontario, please click here.


Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI)

What is C. difficile?

C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) is a spore-forming bacterium that can be part of the normal bacteria found in the large intestine. A C. difficile infection occurs when other good bacteria in the bowel are eliminated or decreased allowing the C. difficile bacteria to grow and produce toxin. The toxin produced can damage the bowel and cause diarrhea.

What is The Royal doing to minimize the risk of patients contracting C. difficile at their facilities?

Good hand hygiene (i.e. cleaning hands thoroughly and often) is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like C. difficile. The Royal is committed to promoting hand hygiene for patient care. We provide access to alcohol-based hand products as well as soap and water throughout the facility for staff, patients and visitors to use. We also follow the advice of the Ontario “Just Clean Your Hands” including providing education to staff and auditing our hand-hygiene practices.

Any patient with C. difficile diarrhea will be isolated until free of the symptoms for at least two days. All health care staff that enters the patient’s room will wear a gown and gloves, and will clean their hands when leaving the room.

The Royal also works with its housekeeping team to ensure a clean hospital environment and that best practices are followed for cleaning in situations where patients are identified with C. difficile.

For further information, please view the C. difficile Patient Information Sheet.

The Royal posts its C. difficile infection rates online on a monthly basis. On this website, you can find information about hospital-acquired infection rates for C. difficile.

  April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018
# of New Cases 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019
# of New Cases 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019 December 2019 January 2020 February 2020 March 2020
# of New Cases 0 0 0 0 0 0            

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

What is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?

MRSA is a type of staphylococcus bacterium (a germ) that is resistant to many common antibiotics. It is not resistant to all antibiotics, however. Staphylococcus bacteria (or ‘staph’) often live on the skin or in the nose, without causing any health problems (this is called colonization). Most people who carry MRSA on their skin or in their nose do not get an infection, or get sick from it.

What is The Royal doing to minimize the risk of patients contracting MRSA at their facilities?

Good hand hygiene (i.e. cleaning hands thoroughly and often) is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The Royal is committed to promoting hand hygiene for patient care. We provide access to alcohol-based hand products as well as soap and water throughout the facility for staff, patients and visitors to use. We also follow the advice of the Ontario “Just Clean Your Hands” including providing education to staff and auditing our hand-hygiene practices.

For further information, please view the MRSA Patient Information Sheet.

  April-June 2017 July-September 2017 October-December 2017 January-March 2018 April-June 2018 July-September 2018 October-December 2018 January-March 2019 April-June 2019 July-September 2019
# of New Cases 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)

What is Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE)?

Enterococci are bacteria normally found in a person’s bowels. These bacteria can sometimes cause infection. Vancomycin is an antibiotic used to treat infection caused by enterococci. One strain of Enterococcus bacteria known as Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus (VRE) has developed resistance to vancomycin.

What is The Royal doing to minimize the risk of patients contracting VRE at their facilities?

Good hand hygiene (i.e. cleaning hands thoroughly and often) is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The Royal is committed to promoting hand hygiene for patient care. We provide access to alcohol-based hand products as well as soap and water throughout the facility for staff, patients and visitors to use. We also follow the advice of the Ontario “Just Clean Your Hands” including providing education to staff and auditing our hand-hygiene practices.

For more information, please view the VRE Patient Information Sheet.

  April-June 2017 July-September 2017 October-December 2017 January-March 2018 April-June 2018 July-September 2018 October-December 2018 January-March 2019 April-June 2019 July-September 2019
# of New Cases 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Hand Hygiene Compliance

Why is hand hygiene so important?

Hand hygiene is an important practice for health care providers and has a significant impact on reducing the spread of infections in hospitals. Hand hygiene is a different way of thinking about safety and patient care and involves everyone in the hospital, including patients, visitors and health care providers.

We have a number of practices in place to help prevent and control infections, including a comprehensive hand hygiene program. All Ontario hospitals are required to annually post their hand hygiene compliance rates to further promote accountability and transparency within the health system.

What is The Royal doing to improve hand hygiene practices?

Hand hygiene involves everyone in the hospital, including patients. Hand cleaning is one of the best ways you and your health care team can prevent the spread of many infections. Patients and their visitors should also practice good hand hygiene before and after entering patient rooms.

Alcohol based hand rub (ABHR) is placed in strategic locations within our facilities and education is provided to all staff with the ‘Just Clean Your Hands’ training module from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. We are offering small portable ABHR for staff to carry to ensure they will be able to clean their hands at any given time, in any given place.

  April 2017-March 2018 April 2018-March 2019
Before Patient/Patient Environment 88% 89%
After Patient/Patient Environment 91% 87.5%