Hand Hygiene: Global WHO Strategy

Prof Didier Pittet, MD, MS Director of the Infection Control Programme and WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva, SwitzerlandMedicalResearch.com Interview with :
Prof Didier Pittet, MD, MS
Director of the Infection Control Programme and WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

 

MedicalResearch.com : What are the main findings of the study?

Prof. Pittet: The main finding is that the WHO hand hygiene promotion strategy is feasible and sustainable across healthcare settings worldwide. For the first time, we have evidence of its feasibility and successful effects to improve hand hygiene in a variety of different geographical and income settings, with an even greater impact in low-/middle-income countries than in high-income countries.

MedicalResearch.com : Were any of the findings unexpected?

Prof. Pittet: No. The WHO strategy was based on a multimodal approach previously proven to have a dramatic effect in reducing the number of healthcare-associated infections at the University of Geneva Hospitals, so we postulated that it would work elsewhere, subject to adaptation according to the cultural setting.

MedicalResearch.com : What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Prof. Pittet: As resistance to antibiotics and other key medicines becomes more common, it is more essential than ever to reduce the number of avoidable infections in hospitals. The best way to protect patients from the cross-transmission of germs is to encourage healthcare workers to practice good hand hygiene during health care. A simple and cost-effective intervention, but physicians are notoriously poor in complying with hand hygiene recommendations. Patients have a voice too and patient participation is also a powerful approach to achieving improvements in health care by building and strengthening a strong patient safety climate.

MedicalResearch.com : What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Prof. Pittet: We need to investigate the strategy’s effect on healthcare-associated infections and to produce useful economic evidence for public health practitioners, service commissioners, and government officials of the effectiveness of the WHO strategy to convince them to allocate resources for its implementation.

Citation:

Global implementation of WHO’s multimodal strategy for improvement of hand hygiene: a quasi-experimental study
Benedetta Allegranzi MD,Angèle Gayet-Ageron MD,Nizam Damani MD,Loséni Bengaly PhD,Prof Mary-Louise McLaws PhD,Maria-Luisa Moro MD,Ziad Memish MD,Orlando Urroz MD,Prof Hervé Richet MD,Julie Storr MBA,Liam Donaldson MD,Prof Didier Pittet MD
The Lancet Infectious Diseases – 1 October 2013 ( Vol. 13, Issue 10, Pages 843-851 )
DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(13)70163-4

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