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The World Health Organization (WHO) started the 'Clean Care is Safer Care' campaign in 2005. Since then, more than 120 countries have pledged to improve hand hygiene as a keystone of their national or subnational healthcare-associated infection prevention programmes. Thirty-eight countries have implemented national campaigns. Germany started a national campaign to improve hand hygiene compliance on 1 January 2008. The campaign, 'AKTION Saubere Hände', is funded by the German Ministry of Health and was initiated by the National Reference Centre for the Surveillance of Nosocomial Infections, the Society for Quality Management in Health Care and the German Coalition for Patient Safety. The campaign is designed as a multi-modal campaign based on the WHO implementation strategy. Since the end of 2010, more than 700 healthcare institutions have been actively participating in the campaign, among which are 28 university hospitals. Voluntarily participating hospitals have to implement the following measures: active support by hospital administrators of local campaign implementation, participation in a one-day introductory course, education of healthcare workers at least once a year, measurement of alcohol-based hand-rub consumption (AHC) and feedback on resulting data, implementation of the WHO 'My Five Moments for Hand Hygiene' model, increase in hand-rub availability, participation in national hand hygiene day at least every two years, and participation in national campaign network workshops at least once every two years. Observational studies to measure hand hygiene compliance are optional. Overall, there has been a significant increase of 11% in hand hygiene compliance in 62 hospitals that observed compliance before and after intervention. A total of 129 hospitals provided AHC data for three years and achieved an overall increase of 30.7%. The availability of alcohol-based hand rub increased from 86.8% to > 100% in intensive care units and from 63.6% to 91.3% in non-intensive care units. Overall, the implementation of a national campaign using the WHO multi-modal intervention strategy has led to improved hand hygiene compliance and hand-rub availability in participating settings. Copyright © 2013 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


C Reichardt, D Königer, K Bunte-Schönberger, P van der Linden, N Mönch, F Schwab, M Behnke, P Gastmeier. Three years of national hand hygiene campaign in Germany: what are the key conclusions for clinical practice? The Journal of hospital infection. 2013 Feb;83 Suppl 1:S11-6

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PMID: 23453170

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