Proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and impeccable hand hygiene are integral to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious organisms. The PPE Spotter Team, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC), and Professional Practice say THANK YOU! to everyone for their hard work and exemplary efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Much of this effort has been noticed by the PPE Spotters, who since April have been visiting units to offer support in best practice related to the use of PPE and infection control. The PPE Spotters watch for opportunities to help people with their PPE and share information to help keep staff, patients and families safe. They offer in-person observation, support, feedback and on-the-spot teaching about proper PPE use (using the PPE Guidelines, linked below), hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control related practices. 

In the COVID-19 Staff Bulletin June 4, the PPE Spotter Team asked for feedback about the program (http://covid19.providencehealthcare.org/stories/ppe-spotters-have-your-back). 

Thanks to 224 respondents, we now have valuable information to guide the next phase of the program. Here are some highlights of what was learned:

  • The survey received 224 responses from a diverse set of staff and clinicians from across PHC; 75% of the respondents were aware of the PPE Spotter program and 50% reported having had interactions with a PPE Spotter.

  • Overall, 60% of respondents agreed that the PPE Spotter program is helpful in supporting best practice for PPE and hand hygiene on the units. One respondent said, “I thought it was great knowing if I was wearing all my PPE properly or not! Also, I was able to clarify PPE for airborne precautions.”

  • Sixty percent (60%) of respondents agreed that PPE Spotter support is helpful in reducing the potential spread of COVID-19 at PHC. “I really appreciate PPE educators and believe it should be [offered] in every hospital area. I think the posters on every patient door are also helpful because it’s a constant reminder to use PPE properly. It is easy to get lazy with PPE as a long shift goes on. PPE spotters are a refresher that I think everyone needed, regardless of COVID-19.”

  • Approximately one third of respondents (34%) would prefer to receive PPE and hand hygiene assistance and advice from someone on their unit. One respondent shared, “In the moment feedback is so much more valuable in my opinion than audits shared later. I would love to see more of this program. Perhaps enlisting point of care staff as members of the team would add impact, and encourage peer-to-peer feedback.”

  • There was overwhelming support for the PPE Spotter program, with 90% of respondents suggesting the program continue. Supportive comments included, “The PPE Spotters are patient yet clear with their approach to correcting PPE practices. This welcoming and supportive approach is key!” 

The survey also generated many suggestions to expand and improve the PPE Spotter program, including offering PPE Spotters in long term care sites, adding evening and weekend shifts, and emphasizing a kind and supportive approach in all interactions. 

We heard you! IPAC has created two new roles: an expanded PPE Spotter role (details coming soon) and an Infection Control Practitioner position for people considering this specialty (http://www.providencehealthcare.org/careers/postings/infection-control-p...). 

IPAC also welcomes anyone interested in becoming a Unit Infection Prevention Champion to reach out to learn more about the IPAC Links program. Join the team!

More than 100 people entered the prize draw after completing the survey, and congratulations go to four winners, including Remy in the SPH Surgical Day Care, Brent in Medical Imaging, and Karen in the Adult Bleeding Disorders Clinic.

With thanks to all,

The PPE Spotter Team: Aggie Black, Danielle Richards, Eleanor Marsh, Ali Rajabi Memar & Meghan MacLeod

Want to review the current PPE use guidelines? Visit:


Have other questions about PPE? Try: 



Have questions about the PPE Spotter program? Please contact Danielle Richards: drichards@providencehealth.bc.ca.

Curious about how to wear a mask? See:


Looking for tips on wearing isolation gowns? Visit:


Please note: This story was written and submitted by Aggie Black, Danielle Richards, Eleanor Marsh, Ali Rajabi Memar, & Meghan MacLeod.

This page last updated Aug 6, 2020 6:16pm PDT