Role Models in Hand Hygiene rewarded

Role Models in Hand Hygiene rewarded

During the Congress of the International Consortium for Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC) the winner hospitals of the European Hand Hygiene Excellence Award (HHEA) were rewarded with the prestigious award. Congratulations to the winners of Spain, Italy, Malta and Germany. Congratulations to the winners of Spain, Italy, Malta and Germany.

At the ICPIC Congress in Geneva in June 2015 the European winner hospitals of the Hand Hygiene Excellence Award (HHEA) 2014 and 2015 were rewarded by Prof. Pittet. He is the chairman of the award as well as director, infection control programme and WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, Lead Adviser, Clean Care is Safer Care programme, University of Geneva Hospitals & Faculty of Medicine and WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.

Hand hygiene programmes save lives and especially the winners of the HHEA are well aware of that and have implemented excellent hand hygiene improvement programmes and demonstrated best practice. The winner of 2014 the St. Elisabeth-Hospital in Beckum, Germany and the AUSL Romagna in Rimini, Italy can be proud of their achievements. Also the winners 2015 the Mater Dei Hospital, Malta and the Parc de Salut mar Barcelona, Spain are now in charge to act as role model in their region and spread their knowledge and achievements to other institutions.

The Award is conceived as a platform to identify, recognize, honour and celebrate those hospitals and health care worker groups who have contributed to improving patient safety through their excellence, enthusiasm and innovatory methods. A unique process has been developed for the Awards. First, the hospitals use the WHO-developed Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (, a systematic, validated tool to obtain a situation analysis of hand hygiene promotion and practices within an individual health care facility. Based on their score and additional criteria  e.g. such as sustainability of the programme, alcohol based handrub consumption and reduction of infection rates while increasing hand hygiene compliance, selected hospitals are visited by two members of the international panel of leading infection control experts. Finalists then undergo a half-day visit of experts for further evaluation of their programmes against set criteria for creativity, innovation and local/regional leadership. After these visits the winning hospitals are selected. 

The WHO identified fast that patient safety is a fundamental principle of patient care and a critical component of quality management. Healthcare-associated infection prevention strategies need to be constantly revisited and updated to be effective. That was the reason why, in 2005, the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge “Clean Care is Safer Care” was launched to heighten awareness of the need to combat healthcare-associated infections, decrease patient suffering and increase patient safety. 

The Hand Hygiene Excellence Award (HHEA) was launched in 2010 in Asia Pacific right after the publication of the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care in 2009 ( and the publication of the WHO Hand Hygiene Self Assessment Framework in 2010 ( support the Implementation of the WHO Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy (more on 

To encourage new and innovative technologies and strategies with the potential to improve patient safety through the successful implementation of the WHO multimodal strategy, the University of Geneva Hospitals/WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, together with the Aesculap Academy, have created a series of HHEA’s worldwide. More about the HHEA on 

HHEA Winners 2014 & 2015 
from the left: 
Carolina Hidalgo Lopez, Cristina Gonzales Juanes: Parc de Salut Mar Barcelona, Spain
Michael A. Borg, Noel Abela, Claire Farrugia, Ermira Tartari: Mater Dei Hospital, Malta
Prof. Didier Pittet, Chairman of the award
Nicol Marcatelli, Grazia Tura: AUSL Romagna in Rimini, Italy
Guido Boucsein, Jan Deitmer, Ursula Altewischer: St. Elisabeth-Hospital in Beckum, Germany