Patient Safety Act-Performance Indicators

The Patient Safety Act is an Act to Improve Patient Safety and Health Systems Accountability.

It requires acute care facilities within the District Health Authorities to report adherence rates for hand hygiene of health care workers (HCWs) both publicly and to the Department of Health and Wellness (DHW) on a Quarterly basis. This information is meant to raise awareness and educate Nova Scotians about the importance of hand hygiene, which is any action to properly clean the hands.

The rates for healthcare associated C-difficile infections are also reported. C-difficile is a bacteria that can live in the bowel without causing harm, or can cause an infection, such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal pain.

The Patient Safety Act is an enabling Act and allows for the addition of other rates of hospital acquired infections to the list of publicly reportable indicators. By monitoring rates over time, we can track improvements and develop strategies to address any areas of concern.

Patient Safety

Patient safety is very important and healthcare-associated infections are concerning to all of us. Infections in hospitals are a reality. Yet there are things we can do to reduce and minimize the risk to patients. Cleaning our hands is the single most important way to prevent the spread of infection. Reporting patient safety indicators brings attention to things like hand washing and identifies ways to improve health care to be safer for everyone. 

What can patients and families do to help improve patient safety?

  • Clean your hands often. Ask for assistance if needed.
  • Remind all healthcare workers who come into your room to clean their hands.
  • Family and visitors should clean their hands frequently during their visit.
  • Talk to your doctor about your illness and whether or not it needs antibiotics.
  • Take all your medication as prescribed by your doctor. It is important to finish taking antibiotics when prescribed even if you are feeling better.
  • If you develop diarrhea after taking an antibiotic, contact your doctor.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, after you use the toilet, before you eat, and when your hands are soiled.
  • If you have any questions, talk to your nurse or doctor or other healthcare provider.

Performance Indicators