Patient Safety Indicators

Patient Safety Indicators

At our Markham and Uxbridge sites, your safety is very important to us. We don’t want you to be worried about picking up an infection when staying at our hospital.

A healthcare-associated infection is when a patient is infected by a bacteria or virus during their stay at the hospital that they did not have before their stay.

To reduce this risk, we constantly practice and follow standards to prevent and control infections. To help ensure your safety, and in compliance with the public reporting process, we manage and keep track of our healthcare-associated infection rates, as well as hand washing rates. These are referred to as patient safety indicators (see below).

Monitoring patient safety indicators helps us understand where safety issues exist and what we need to do to improve.

Markham Stouffville Hospital

Hand Washing by Hospital Care Providers

Before patient contact


of opportunities where providers
should and did wash their hands

After patient contact


of opportunities where providers
should and did wash their hands

Surgical Safety Checklist Completion


of surgeries with completed safety checklists

C.difficile Infections in Hospital Patients YTD

Rate of


per 1,000 inpatient days

Antibiotic Resistant Bloodstream Infections in Hospital Patients

Rate of


per 1,000 inpatient days



Hand washing by hospital care providers

Before patient contact


of opportunities where providers
should and did wash their hands

After patient contact


of opportunities where providers
should and did wash their hands

C. difficile infections in hospital patients

Rate of


per 1,000 inpatient days

Antibiotic resistant bloodstream infections in hospital patients

Rate of


per 1,000 inpatient days

Hand hygiene compliance FAQ

What can patients do to improve their own safety?
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.

What is Markham Stouffville Hospital doing to improve patient safety?

Markham Stouffville Hospital has implemented the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Just Clean Your Hands, hand hygiene initiative. We are working with employees, visitors and patients to minimize hospital-acquired infections through:

  • Hand cleaning initiatives
  • Environmental cleaning
  • Sterilization of equipment
  • Education Additional isolation precautions
Surgical safety checklist compliance FAQ

What is a surgical safety checklist?

A surgical safety checklist is a patient safety communication tool that is used by a team of operating room professionals (nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and others) to discuss important details about each surgical case. In many ways, the surgical checklist is similar to an airline pilot’s checklist used just before take-off. It is a final check prior to surgery used to make sure everyone knows the important medical information they need to know about the patient, all equipment is available and in working order, and everyone is ready to proceed.

What information is included in a surgical safety checklist?

Some examples of items contained in the checklist:

The Sign In Phase:

  • Verify with patient name and procedure to be done
  • Allergy Check
  • Medications Check
  • Operation site, side and procedure
  • Lab tests, X-rays

The Surgical Pause Phase:

  • Surgical procedure
  • Operation site and side
  • Antibiotics check

The Sign Out Phase:

  • Surgeon reviews important items
  • Anesthesiologist reviews important items
  • Nurse reviews correct counts

Nursing Handoff Phase: Markham Stouffville Hospital has added this phase to ensure appropriate information is relayed by the circulating nurse during a nursing handoff. During this phase, the circulating nurse relays important information including the patient’s name, diagnosis, surgery progress and plan, specimens, etc.

Will a surgical safety checklist be used on me?

If you undergo a surgery at Markham Stouffville Hospital you can expect that the surgical safety checklist will be used as part of the procedure. It will be used by your health-care team before, during and after your surgery to help the health-care team familiarize themselves with your medical history and any special requirements that may be needed for your individual case.

C. difficile FAQ

What is C. difficile?

C. difficileis one of many germs (bacteria) that can be found in a bowel movement (stool). C. difficile disease occurs when antibiotics kill your good bowel bacteria and allow the C. difficile to grow. When C. difficile grows, it creates toxins that can damage your bowel and cause diarrhea.C. difficile is one example of a healthcare-associated infection and is one of the most common infections found in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Who is at risk for C. difficile?

Healthy people are not usually susceptible to C. difficile. Seniors and people who have illnesses or conditions being treated with antibiotics and other stomach medications are at greater risk of an infection from C. difficile.

What are the symptoms of C. difficile?

The usual symptoms are mild but can be severe. The main symptoms are: watery diarrhea fever abdominal pain /tenderness In some cases there may not be diarrhea. Blood may or may not be present in the stool.

How is C. difficile spread?

When a person has C. difficile, the germs in the stool can soil surfaces such as toilets, handles, bedpans, or commode chairs. When touching these items, your hands can become soiled. If you then touch your mouth, you can swallow the germ. Your soiled hands can spread germs that can survive for a long time on other surfaces if not properly cleaned.

How is C. difficile diagnosed?

If you have symptoms of C. difficile, your doctor will ask for a sample of your stool to test.

How is C. difficile treated?

Treatment depends on how sick you are. People with mild symptoms may not need treatment. For more severe cases, antibiotics are required.

How is the spread of C. difficile prevented in the hospital?

Proper control is achieved through consistent hand hygiene and thorough cleaning of the patient environment. Good hand hygiene (i.e. washing hands thoroughly and often) is the single-most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like C. difficile.

If you have C. difficile diarrhea it is preferred that you be moved to a private room until you are free from diarrhea for at least two days. Your activities outside the room will be restricted. All healthcare providers who enter your room will wear gowns and gloves. Your visitors may also be asked to wear gowns and gloves. Everyone must clean their hands when leaving your room. Always wash your hands after using the bathroom.

Markham Stouffville Hospital has also implemented the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Just Clean Your Hands and Clean Hands Protect Lives hand hygiene initiatives and has taken many measures to improve our hand hygiene compliance including:

  • conducting internal reviews
  • holding staff education sessions
  • installing additional hand hygiene product throughout the hospital
  • participating in a poster campaign

If you have any questions about the hospital’s infection prevention and control program, please contact call 905-472-7373 extension 1605.