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Because your voice matters.

Participant, Focus Group and Follow-up, Patient Hand Cleaning

Posted • Last updated


Open to Provincial Region, Patient partners across the province

Last updated

We know that preventing health care acquired infections is highly reliant on clean hands. But connecting the dots between our patients and effective hand cleaning is an area we want to understand better. We want to hear about how you and your family were able to clean your hands during a hospital stay or in a residential care facility and how we can improve this experience.

Open to: Patient partners across the province

Lead Organization or Department

Providence Health Care, Risk Management and Infection Prevention and Control


We are seeking feedback from patients, residents and family members about their ability to effectively clean their hands during a stay in hospital and/or residential care. We want to understand barriers and identify suggestions for improvement through understanding the experience of hand hygiene. We have three patient partners advising our team who recommend that our next step should be to gather stories about patient and family experiences cleaning hands while in hospital/residential care. Our goal will be to share these stories with staff, giving life to the importance of hand cleaning for patients/families while in hospital/residential care.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of consult on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will listen to and acknowledge your ideas and concerns, and provide feedback on how your input affected the decision.


  • Patients, residents or family members who experienced a stay long enough to recognize the importance of hand cleaning and to share stories both positive and negative about the experience of being able to clean hands while in care. *Experience can be from any facility; does not need to be exclusive to a PHC site/facility
  • Preference will be given to the following patient/resident/family member experiences:
- those who received teaching from staff on correct procedure for hand cleaning, based on the type of precautions they were on and if the facilities were available to them to perform the hand washing; - those who had an experience when hand cleaning was needed but not provided; - those who have experienced a situation where they asked, or wanted to ask, health care workers if they cleaned their hands; -Those who experienced accessible hand hygiene products to clean their hands when needed while in care.
  • High level of comfort with sharing your story.
If you have a strong interest in this work but have not yet completed a PVN orientation and Volunteer Agreement, are unsure if your experience is a good fit or feel another format of engagement would work better with your availability, please contact the engagement leader directly.


  • Vacancies: 10+
  • A two-hour focus group with specified questions to stimulate discussion and sharing of stories-limited to our three advisory patient partners plus five additional members to permit time for discussion and sharing stories.
  • Multiple focus groups can be held if the response and interest warrants it.
  • Focus group will be scheduled based on availability of patient partners.
  • If sufficient numbers prefer to meet in person, we will meet at St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver in a room with teleconferencing capability. There will also be an option to participate in focus groups by teleconference.


Preapproved expenses related to local travel (i.e. transit, parking up to $18/day, approved mileage) to attend in person sessions will be reimbursed by Providence Health Care. No anticipated expenses for patient partners outside of the Lower Mainland who participate by teleconference or online.


Measuring compliance for hand hygiene has primarily been focused on the health care providers with regular auditing throughout the year and posting of compliance scores. They've recognized that it was equally important for patients to be included, so we initiated a project in acute care where patients having their meals in bed were offered hand wipes when they were presented with their meal trays. In residential care, residents are offered hand wipes when seated in the dining room. When patients are confined to bed, it is often difficult for them to be able to wash their hands as frequently as they would like. Providence would like to hear from patients, families and residents about what you found helpful and not so helpful about your ability to practice hand hygiene in our facilities so we can improve this very important area in preventing the transmission of infection.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Karen Estrin
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Lower Mainland & Sunshine Coast

From Our Community

Jeanette Foreman

Northwest Quality Improvement Lead, Quality and Innovation, Northern Health

Jeanette Forman

PVN has really helped us engage with patient partners to improve health services at Northern Health.  It is more and more becoming the norm to include patients in the design, delivery and evaluation of health services.  PVN education and supports, involving patient partners, have enabled us to develop the capacity to include the patient voice to make care better and achieve better health outcomes.