Clean Care is Safer Care

Update No 11

5 August 2009

Dear colleagues

As the seasons progress in the northern and southern hemispheres, Influenza A (H1N1) continues to be a major pandemic which is influencing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and health care workers globally. Good infection control practices will contribute greatly to the reduction of influenza spread and I know everyone involved in health will be mindful of the need for best practice in hand hygiene.

The First Global Patient Safety Challenge continues with its commitment to making infection prevention and control a priority in health care everywhere by being involved in and leading on a number of areas of work. Professor Didier Pittet's message on the critical role of hand hygiene which you can find on the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands web pages continues to be very relevant.

This month the focus is on two specific areas for action:

1) Guide to the Implementation of the WHO Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy

This has been designed for use by any health-care facility irrespective of the level of resources or whether the facility has already implemented any hand hygiene initiatives. The ultimate goal is to reduce both the spread of infection and multi-resistant germs as well as the numbers of patients acquiring health care-associated infection. One of the tools recommended in the Guide to Implementation is the 'How to Handrub and How to Handwash' Poster. If your facility is focussed on reminding people about hand hygiene then this is one of the tools that can help, particularly at a time when H1N1 is an issue. The poster explains the correct procedures and is excellent visual display that can be used throughout facilities. To download and use this image click here.

If you are translating tools/posters locally then we would appreciate hearing about your work. Please send us copies of the translated versions.

2) Have you considered submitting a case study to the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands web pages?

This is an excellent way to share your work and successes with others. You can do this here.

For information

We know that many of WHO's hand hygiene implementation tools are used around the world but it is always exciting to hear of actual examples...

- A new Rwanda project is a wonderful example of the tools being utilised as part of a larger project - a number of people are involved in volunteering in a Belgium/Rwandan collaborative educational activity this summer. They are encouraging the inclusion of WHO's hand hygiene tools and are even considering local alcohol-based handrub production. Posters were specifically requested from the First Challenge Team to enhance this work.

Members of the First Global Patient Safety Challenge Team recently published an article on 'WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care and their Consensus Recommendations' in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. It gives a concise summary of the background to developing the guidelines, followed by the full recommendations.

Good luck for all your on-going infection prevention and control and hand hygiene initiatives. Thank you for your continued support for SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands.

Yours sincerely
Claire Kilpatrick
Programme Manager, First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Clean Care is Safer Care