McGuinty government directs hospitals to audit infection control practices

Archived Release

McGuinty government directs hospitals to audit infection control practices

Ministry of Health

TORONTO, Nov. 17 - The McGuinty government is directing all Ontario hospitals to do an audit of their infection control practices to ensure the health and safety of patients, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today. "We expect hospitals to maintain the safest possible infection control standards and to be more vigilant about the sterilization of equipment," Smitherman said. "When I learned of the situation at Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre last Friday, I immediately took the step of requiring all hospitals in the province to thoroughly examine their current practices and report back to us. I also followed up by raising my concerns directly with Ontario Hospital Association chair Tony Dagnone." Last Friday, the ministry directed all hospitals in the province to complete an audit of infection control practices throughout all the clinical, diagnostic and supply areas. Specifically, hospitals are being required to report on: - Ability to comply with policies and procedures on the sterilization of equipment and facilities. - Ability of infection control committees and specialists to ensure that all infection control standards are met and that accountability measures are in place. - How infectious disease standards are communicated to staff and how they are monitored. Hospitals must submit the results of their audit to the ministry by January 9. Under the Public Hospitals Act, hospitals are responsible for establishing occupational, and health and safety programs that includes procedures with respect to the safe use of substances, equipment and medical devices. This news release is available on our website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca Version fran├žaise disponibleFor further information: Members of the media: Ted Haugen, Minister's Office, (416) 327-4322; Tanya Cholakov, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or (800) 268-1154