Semmelweis Day at ICPIC

Ignaz Semmelweis, Austro-Hungarian physician, “savior of mothers”, postulated the theory of surgical disinfection in the middle of the 19th century, radically breaking down hospital morbidity numbers. No wonder, ICPIC devoted an entire day to his tribute after 195 years of his birth.The focus of the special session was the “New promising technologies” aiming to support the clinical staff in personal hygiene.

Strengths of Automated Electric Monitoring Systems (AEMS) are the possibility of continuous monitoring and automatic data download and analysis, mitigation of the Hawthorn effect and minimal requirement of human resources. These technologies are promising, provided that they reflect the WHO 5 moments for hand hygiene (HH), but additional research is needed to support their adoption as a standard. It is apparent that most of the solutions are only meant for measuring in-and-out of the patient’s zone.

We are happy to see the rise of “Patient participation and performance”. Patient participation (PP) with performance feedback (PF) may offer a mean of improving HH compliance beyond standard multimodal promotion. Patient empowerment was made a cornerstone of WHO’s initiatives also thanks to the efforts of Dr. McGuckin.

We should not stop seeing further evidence on “The effect of improved hand hygiene compliance on nosocomial transmission of Staphylococcus”.  An improvement of hand hygiene compliance (HHC) from 31.5% to 52.9% (RR:1.68) was associated with a 32% reduction of the transmission index (TI). This study shows that improvement of HHC using automatic dispensers with personal feedback reduces the transmission of S.aureus in the hospital substantially.

Further, there was an interesting summary on “Hand Hygiene campaigns”. The strategies described could optimize the end users’ participation as not only were ideas extracted from the ICLNs but they also helped in implementing their own ideas. New innovations are vital as HH has been introduced now for a long time and campaign fatigue is likely to occur.

Check also the “WHO 5-moment in traditional Chinese medicine” (TCM). The study demonstrates that TCM include 5 treatment practices that are different from western medicine. Limited blood exposures would occur during acupuncture and moxibustion while moments 1, 3, 4 & 5 are frequently recorded. The HH opportunities range from 2 to 4 per hour and are practicable. This preliminary study anticipated that HH using ABHR is doable in TCM clinic and WHO 5-moments for HH can be applied in the TCM practices. Tool kit and education for TCM practitioners will be developed. Further studies and pilot implementation will be conducted.