C. difficile Rates

The C. difficile infection rate is calculated as a rate per 1,000 patient days. The "total patient days" represents the sum of the number of days during which services were provided to all inpatients during the given time period. The rate is calculated as follows:

Number of new hospital acquired cases of C. difficile in our facility x 1000
Total number of patient days (for one month)

For smaller sites:
C. difficile infection rate may vary from month to month: the smaller the site, the greater the rates will vary-this is because a change in even one case in a small site will cause the rate to up or down considerably.  Indicator: Clostridium difficile Associated Disease (CDAD)

2018 Rates for HGMH

Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2018 0    0    No   
February 2018 0    0    No
March 2018 0    0    No
April 2018 0     0    No
May 2018 0     0    No
June 2018      
July 2018      
August 2018      
September 2018      
October 2018      
November 2018      
December 2018      

2017 Rates for HGMH

Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2017 0.92 1 No
February 2017 0 0 No
March 2017 0 0 No
April 2017 0 0 No
May 2017 1.06 1 No
June 2017 0 0 No
July 2017 1.53 2 No
August 2017 0 No
September 2017 No 
October 2017 0     0    No
November 2017 No 
December 2017 0    0    Non

2016 Rates for HGMH

Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2016 0 0 No
February 2016 0 0 No
March 2016 0 0 No
April 2016 0 0 No
May 2016 0 0 No
June 2016 0 0 No
July 2016 0 0 No
August 2016 0 0 No
September 2016 0 0 No
October 2016 0 0 No
November 2016 4.95 4 Yes
December 2016 0 0 No

2015 Rates for HGMH

Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2015 0 0 No
February 2015 0 0 No
March 2015 0 0 No
April 2015 0 0 No
May 2015 0 0 No
June 2015 0 0 No
July 2015 0 0 No
August 2015 0 0 No
September 2015 0 0 No
October 2015 0 0 No
November 2015 0 0 No
December 2015 1.53 1 No

2014 Rates for HGMH

Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2014 0.98 1 No
February 2014 0 0 No 
March 2014 0 No 
April 2014 No 
May 2014 4.74  Yes 
June 2014 1.44  No 
July 2014 1.26  No 
August 2014 No 
September 2014 0 No 
October 2014 No 
November 2014 0 No
December 2014 1.21 No 


2013 Rates for HGMH

Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2013 0 0 No
February 2013 0 No 
March 2013 0 No 
April 2013 0 No 
May 2013 No 
June 2013 No 
July 2013 1.53 No 
August 2013 0 No 
September 2013 0 No 
October 2013 0 No 
November 2013 0 No 
December 2013 0 No 


2012 Rates for HGMH

Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2012 1.12 1 No
February 2012 0 0 No
March 2012 0 0 No
April 2012 0 0 No
May 2012 0 0 No
June 2012 0 0 No
July 2012 0 0 No
August 2012 0 0 No
September 2012 0 0 No
October 2012 2.39 2 No
November 2012 0 0 No
December 2012 0 0 No


2011 Rates for HGMH


Month Rate per 1,000 patient days Case count *Outbreak
January 2011 0 0 No
February 2011 0 0 No
March 2011 1.09 1 No
April 2011 1.18 1 No
May 2011 0 0 No
June 2011 0 0 No
July 2011 0 0 No
August 2011 0 0 No
September 2011 0 0 No
October 2011 0 0 No
November 2011 0 0 No
December 2011 0 0 No

Measuring Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) rates

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

What are hospital-acquired infections?

Sometimes when patients are admitted to the hospital, they can get infections. These are called hospital-acquired infections. In the case of C. difficile, this may mean that symptoms began 72 hours after admission to the hospital; or that the infection was present at the time of admission but was related to a previous admission to that hospital within the last four weeks.

What is C. difficile?

C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) is a bacteria. C. difficile can be a part of the normal bacteria in the large intestine and is one of the many bacteria that can be found in stool (a bowel movement).

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. C. difficile is one example of a hospital-acquired infection and is one of the most common infections found in hospitals and long-term care facilities. C. difficile has been a known cause of health care associated diarrhea for about 30 years.

Who is at risk for C. difficile?

Healthy people are not usually susceptible to C. difficile. Seniors, and people who have other illnesses or conditions being treated with antibiotics and certain 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. 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 stools.

How do you get C. difficile?

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 survive for a long time on other surfaces if not properly cleaned.

The spread of C. difficile occurs due to inadequate hand hygiene and environmental cleaning; therefore, 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.

At HGMH we are 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 have a process to audit the hand hygiene of staff members and provide feedback. We follow the advice and practices in the Ontario "Just Clean Your Hands" campaign to help us provide best practices in hand hygiene in caring for our patients.

How is C. difficile diagnosed?

C. difficile is usually diagnosed by sending a specimen of diarrhea to the laboratory where it is tested for the presence of C. difficile toxin.

How is C. difficile treated?

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

What precautions are used to prevent the spread of C. difficile in the hospital?

If you are in the hospital and have C. difficile diarrhea, you will be put on precautions until you are free from diarrhea for at least two days. Your activities outside the room may be restricted. All health care staff who enter your room will wear a gown and gloves. Everyone MUST clean their hands when leaving you room.

How does HGMH control the spread of C. difficile?

In order to prevent the spread of C. difficile, we engage our housekeeping team to ensure that they are following the best practices for cleaning in situations where patients are identified with C. difficile. As well, we are strongly encouraging our staff to enhance their hand hygiene practices. We ensure that patients who are suspected or proven to have C. difficile receive appropriate treatment as soon as possible. Once diarrhea has stopped in a patient with C. difficile, there is a much lower risk of contamination that might cause further cases.

Does HGMH track C. difficile cases?

Looking closely at the C. difficile cases is an important step in making sure you are safe. This is called surveillance, and it allows us to know whether there is a problem in the hospital and to understand how big the problem is. We track all C. difficile cases in our hospital, and as soon as any case is identified, we bring in the resources needed to stop the possibility that it might spread to others.

What is HGMH doing to improve patient safety?

We have a patient safety program in the hospital to make sure that all practices are at the highest level possible to keep you safe. This includes:

  • ensuring that our housekeeping practices are in line with the best practices in healthcare.
  • following the "Just Clean Your Hands" program for excellence in hand hygiene.
  • conducting audits on various practices to verify that patient care is as safe as possible.
  • implementing programs such as "fall prevention", "medication safety" and "Safer Healthcare Now" initiatives.

What is a C. Difficile outbreak?

Definitions have been developed to assist hospitals and public health units in determining when there is an outbreak.

Outbreak: Six or more new nosocomial cases of C. difficile infection within a 30-day period on a single ward or unit.

Hospital Acquired Infection: Infection acquired during the delivery of health care within a particular health care facility. See also, Nosocomial.

Infection Risk: The probability that a patient/client will acquire an infection based on the characteristics of the individual, the inherent risks associated with a procedure, or other factors that might put the individual at risk for a health care-associated infection.

Nosocomial Infection: Infection acquired during the delivery of health care within a particular health care facility. See also. Hospital-Acquired Infection.

Surveillance: The systematic ongoing collection, collation and analysis of data with timely dissemination of information to those who require it in order to take action.

Cluster: Three or more new nosocomial cases of C. difficile infection associated with a single ward or unit within a seven-day period.

(From the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee)


Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential telephone service you can call to get health advice or general health information from a Registered Nurse. The service provides round-the-clock access, to a qualified health professional. It can help you decide whether to care for yourself, make an appointment with your doctor, go to a clinic, contact a community service or go to a hospital emergency room.

Call Telehealth Ontario:


back up