Dr. Michael Borg´s team from the Mater Dei Hospital in Malta has just been given the Hand Hygiene Excellence Award 2015 by the University of Geneva Hospitals WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety. The infection control unit-team slashed a superbug problem through strict hygiene campaign.
The background oft he success-story in short: because of extensive antibiotics use MRSA is a great problem in Malta – and also the Mater Dei hospital reflected this situation. But through intensive hand hygiene campaigns and tainings the team has helped to drastically slash MRSA blood infections from three patients every two weeks in 2009 to one patient a month, says Borg who is the head of the infection control unit. Infection control nurse Noel Abela tried to find out the reason why the medical staff did not wash their hands with an alcohol hand rub as often as they should. Lack of time was cited as one of the main reasons as well as the fact that they did not see any immediate effects.
The award, which aim is to honor the efforts of hospitals in patient safety by increasing hand hygiene compliance is a great pleasure for the hospital staff and is encouraging other hospitals: “It is a good chance to see if the efforts in hand hygiene already can compete with the best hospitals in the region. In addition applying hospitals are visited by designated experts in the field and have the opportunity to receive valuable feedbacks and recommendations to perfect their performance in hand hygiene excellence”, says the award chairman Prof. Didier Pittet.