Hand hygiene promotion worldwide: strategies and achievements of the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge

Abstract number: P1514

Allegranzi B., Kilpatrick C., Graafmans W., Bagheri Nejad S., Chraïti M., Mathai E., Richet H., Pittet D.

Objective: The WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge (GPSC), launched in October 2005, aims at reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) worldwide, in particular by promoting hand hygiene (HH) and infection control (IC) best practices at the point of care. We evaluated the strategies and achievements of the First GPSC related to this objective.

Methods: The following components were assessed: 1) development and testing of guidelines and accompanying implementation strategies and technical tools; 2) evaluation of test results; 3) finalization and dissemination of implementation strategies and tools. Main indicators of success were HH compliance measured by a validated direct observation tool and the number of healthcare settings implementing HH promotion worldwide.

Results: The advanced draft of the WHO Guidelines on HH and the WHO multimodal HH improvement strategy and tools were developed with the contribution of more than 100 international experts and were tested in 2007–2008 in 8 pilot sites and in over 250 health-care settings worldwide. Main results from pilot sites were: a significant (p < 0.01) increase in the weighted mean of HH compliance from 34.0% at baseline to 55.7% after a three-month intervention period in 7/8 sites; preferred recourse to alcohol-based handrub for HH in all sites with local production of a WHO formulation at low cost in 6/8 sites and national scale-up in 4/6 sites; and improvement in healthcare workers' perception and knowledge about the importance of HAI and HH. Following evaluation of lessons learned, the final Guidelines and Implementation Toolkit were issued in May 2009. To catalyze their dissemination and to support long-term HH improvement worldwide, a new initiative, "Save Lives: Clean Your Hands", was launched on 5 May 2009. As of 5 November 2009, 5801 hospitals from 125 countries have registered to be part of this initiative using the WHO Guidelines and tools for HH promotion.

Conclusions: The feasibility and reliability of the WHO Guidelines and tools and their impact on HH procedures were demonstrated through testing in settings with different cultures and resource availability. The First GPSC has generated an unprecedented global momentum and mobilized thousands of healthcare settings to achieve HH improvement. By making IC a priority in healthcare everywhere, with HH as its solid and essential basis, the First GPSC efforts have the potential to save millions of lives and engender major cost savings.

Session Details

Date: 10/04/2010
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: Abstracts 20th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Vienna, Austria, 10 - 13 April 2010
Presentation type:
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