Hand Hygiene: A Handbook for Medical Professionals – this is the title of a book, that will be published in January, and that is described as the first comprehensive, authoritative review of one of the most important issues in infection control and patient safety – hand hygiene. We asked author Prof. Didier Pittet, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety and keynote speaker at the Second Semmelweis CEE Conference on March 7th and 8th, 2017 in Budapest.
Prof. Pittet, I accidentally came across an announcement of your book “Hand Hygiene: A Handbook for Medical Professionals”, that will be published soon. 392 pages! – that must have been a lot of work! When the idea for this book-project arised?
The project to edit this book is three years old. We were three authors working on the book – John Boyce, Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiologist at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, Benedetta Allegranzi a specialist in infectious diseases, currently working at the World Health Organization and at the Infection Control Programme at the University of Geneva Hospitals, and me.
The book is relevant for many target groups – for hospital epidemiologists as well as for infection control nurses or hospital administrators. How did you manage to address so many different groups?
We address the many partners by having different chapters, some clearly dedicated to some staff category; there are a total of 55 chapters. (Note: many well-known names such as Stephan Harbarth, Andreas Voss and others). Some elements are very practical, and some chapters are linked to very practical tools, to be used at the bed side.
What are your expectations in relation to the effects of the book?
My expectations are that this very comprehensive book will lead to an overall improvement in the understanding of hand hygiene and way to improve and sustain compliance over time.