The Heritage of Semmelweis

The CEE Semmelweis Conference series was established two years ago to offer a high-standard professional event on Hospital Hygiene and Patient Safety in the CEE region. The second edition of the conference will be held in 2 months in Budapest. We summarize here the most important information and also look back to the key findings of the previous conference.

The first Semmelweis Conference was organized in 2015 in Vienna by the Semmelweis Foundation. The foundation was established in Vienna by a group of private people to raise public and political awareness to the threat of multi resistant bugs and the importance of hygiene in healthcare in order to save lives. The mission of the Foundation is to facilitate sharing best practices and learning from each other. Around 300 people attended the first Semmelweis Conference, titled „The Future of Infection Surveillance and Control“.

“With the Semmelweis CEE Conference we increase the necessary awareness at a political level for the prevention of nosocomial infections” – said Prof. Didier Pittet, key note lecturer and chairman of the conference. “I’m convinced that this conference is an opportunity to share and gain knowledge so that we can all learn how to raise public awareness for hospital hygiene topics and how to prevent and treat nosocomial infections” – claimed Bernard Küenburg, President of the Semmelweis Foundation


Why should experts attend this conference?

“In hospital infection control, it is so important to open up our borders and look beyond our national limits because it’s a global phenomenon. We cannot just make actions and programs on national bases. We have to work together, exchange experiences because it’s a worldwide problem.” Dr. Pamela Rendi-Wagner – Austrian Ministry of Health

“We still have huge differences in the rate of hospital acquired infections in Europe. It’s no doubt that we can learn from each other.” Dr. Franz Allerberger – AGES (Austria Agency for Health and Food Safety)

“Bacteria and germs do not know borders. It’s important to share our results with the colleges from other countries.” Dr. Vera Katalinic-Jankovic – Croatian National Institute of Public Health

“It’s a lot of fun to see the different approaches to solve the problems.” Dr. Elisabeth Presterl – Medical University of Vienna


The first conference was a starting point of a series, held every second year in the region. Base on the initial success, the organizers expect that the next meeting will be more interactive and let topics be deepened.


Semmelweis Conference 2017

Communication – the Key for Better Infection Surveillance and Control!

Date: March 7-8, 2017

Venue: Budapest, Hungary, AquaWorld Resort (map)


Keynote speakers:

  • Didier Pittet: The Semmelweis story – Can it happen again?
  • Petra Gastmeier: Does surveillance improve the communication about infection control problems within the hospitals?
  • Andreas Voss: The best way to get your hospital to talk about infection control

Panel discussions:

  • Is Communication the Key for Better Infection Surveillance and Control?
  • Health care workers are the best multipliers for infection prevention! But do they get enough say on what is efficient and feasible?


Read the complete program here.


Feeling inspired to take apart on Second Semmelweis Conference? Register now!

 Abstract submission is open until February 5.


HandInScan is one of the sponsors of the conference. We are deeply committed fighting against hospital-acquired infections, and we are really proud that we can support such a high profile professional-level event.

If you have a chance, attend Dr. Tamas Haidegger (HandInScan CEO) keynote lecture about
“Information technology: digital solutions for a better hand hygiene”
6.40 pm, 7 March