Third CEE Conference on Hospital Hygiene and Patient Safety

Many thanks to all participants, speakers and sponsors for this great conference!

High-level keynote speakers, lectures by specialists and excellent networking opportunities made the third Semmelweis CEE Conference on Hospital Hygiene and Patient Safety a great success.

Resumee 3rd CEE wide Semmelweis conference on hospital hygiene

Quotations and Highlights from two days of exciting lectures and discussions

“Urgent action is required with respect to antibiotic resistance”
“We have to leverage the potential of entire teams – this requires leadership”
“There is a fire in our house!”
“Economic nonsense: curing a disease instead of preventing it”
“Cost of diagnostics should be included into the budget of antibiotics”
“We have to build meta competence, we have to build European competence! In both cases we have to learn from each other”
“Hospitals believe that they can work separately. But they cannot. All hospitals in a region are related when it comes to HAI”
“Political science should be connected to medicine”
“Hospitals are highly political places – therefore silo busting is difficult”
“We could learn from the aviation industry and should exchange information horizontally”
“When it comes to infection prevention – nurses are more important than we think”
“Evidence is not enough. You also need to communicate it”
“Doctors and patients have the same goal, but trust is needed”
“Trust is the fuel and glue of each network”
“In hospitals we are too much our roles but we get responsibility through our functions”
“We should use standard operation procedures and stick to the basic processes”
“Economic interest versus patient safety??”
“Should patients assess hospitals regarding hygiene? Patients cannot easily judge it and should not be asked”
“Discussing an issue is the start of a solution”
“To teach and explain is better than to pressure”
“ICPIC will become a patient-included meeting this year”
“With respect to infection prevention: generation change will help”
“If you want to bust silos: you should include emotions”
“Let’s be proud of what has been achieved in the past 150 years since Semmelweis – but we are not satisfied!”
“Reality often differs to what is being written down”
“If you don’t have enough resources: Do less, but do it well”
“If you plan to make a program, speak with the front workers first”
“Flu vaccination status in Austria: 7%”
“Flu increases the chance of HAI infections – this has been known since Egon Schiele died of it 101 years ago”
“Flu vaccination also reduces the risk of MCI by 50%”
“Silo mentality: The mindset is inward-looking. Silo busting may contribute to an overall failure”
“Solution for silo busting: Identify – Involve – Facilitate – Communicate!”
“Semmelweis tried to bust silos”
“What is silo busting? A means to change the system, a multimodal approach, monitoring and feedback, fatwa for alcohol-based hand rub”
“Adapt to adopt!”
“Motto of Country Hospital Villach (Corinthia, Austria): Your welfare is our concern”
“Villach is a Model of patient-oriented quality”
“In an average large hospital, we have 12,000 written SOPs (Standard operating procedures). An average nurse knows only 3 of them”
“You always train an orchestra together, not the violins on Monday, the trumpets on Tuesday and the drums on Wednesday”
“Handy hygiene compliance: Knowledge is there, tools are there, simply people forget to disinfect their hands”
“Opinion poll: What would increase the compliance? Nr. 1: More dispensers. Nr. 2: More monitoring and feedback”
“Bed Bugs killed by a fogger with Permethrin and Peroxide. Not Silo Busters but Bug Busters”
“How often does the laboratory ask you what you really want? Yet, the laboratory has to be a partner, an ally”
“Reservoir of resistant pathogens is growing”
“Stewardship must be a coordinated program”
“Stewardship must be a coordinated program”
“Rapid identification combined with treatment might solve the problem”
“Darwinopoly – survival of the fittest (Bacteria have survived for around 1,2 billion years)”
“Innovation is always related to praxis somehow”
Expert group at Semmelweis’ times: “We think that the theory of chlorine washing is outdated
“If you want to break a silo – don’t forget emotions!”
In the US due to legal praxis it is not “patient as partner” anymore, it has turned into “patient as enemy”. We have to make patients partners again.
“Patients versus doctors: There are rights and duties on both sides”
“Hygiene is a legal obligation!”
“Never forget: Also staff members can be infected during an outbreak!”
“How to act: Narrow window – wide impact”
“We learned to share – that increases the value (silo busting?!)”
“Do we have enough (clean) hands for our patients?”
“Infection control is like Sisyphus work”
“As an infection control person, you might feel like an elephant in a closet. But with the right mind set, dedicated teams and an open mind of political bodies – problems can be solved”

Semmelweis was the first health care activist!

Let us all become health care activists!!

Bernhard Küenburg

We cordially congratulate the three winners of our poster session and thank our sponsor Ecolab and ICPIC for providing them with travel, accommodation and a ticket to the ICPIC in Geneva:

1st place: Georg Duscher „Fighting against permethrin resistant and non-resistant strains of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) with the use of a special fogger and a combination of H2O2 fluid and permethrin – a light at the end of the tunnel“

2nd place: Clemens Bulitta „OR ventilation a relevant factor in prevention of surgical site infections“

3rd place: Patrick Braß „Better feedback for hand hygiene using an innovative support system“

From left to right: Bernhard Kueenburg (President of the Semmelweis Foundation), Didier Pittet (WHO), Patrick Braß (3rd place), Georg Duscher (1st place), Clemens Bulitta (2nd place), Mohamed Abbas (head of jury) and Samo Kotnik (Ecolab).

10 Best E-Posters

We would like to thank all participants of the Abstract Submission for their contribution.

We congratulate the 10 best authors on their abstracts!

OR ventilation a relevant factor in prevention of surgical site infections

Clemens Bulitta

Technical University of Applied Sciences Amberg-Weiden, Institute of Medical Engineering, Weiden Oberpfalz, Germany

Clostridium difficile infection associated with tuberculosis (TB) medication

Dr. Anca Hnatiuc

Municipal Hospital Dr. Gavril Curteanu Oradea Romania

Adopting the World Health Organization Multi-Modal Strategy for Hand Hygiene Improvement

Maria Teresa Blanco-Abuy, RN

St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City

Microbiological Validation of Expert Evaluation: Reliability of Human Assessment

Viola Sári

Barriers in preventing healthcare associated infections in the nurses’ activity

Viorica Nedelcu

The Order of Nurses, Midwives and Medical Assistants in Romania Bucharest Branch,Bucharest, Romania, The “Carol Davila” University of Pharmacy and Medicine of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Successful implementation of hand hygiene program in Trnava University Hospital during period 2013-2018

Janka Prnova

Centre of Microbiology and Infection Prevention, Trnava University, Slovakia
Department of Hospital Hygiene and Epidemiology, University Hospital Trnava, Slovakia

Surgical Residents’ Hand Hygiene: Assumptions and Beliefs

Száva Bánsághi

Financial Burden of Healthcare-Associated Infections Costs in Hungary: A Cost Based Analysis

Márk Markóczy

Fighting against permethrin resistant and non-resistant strains of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) with the use of a special fogger and a combination of H2O2 fluid and permethrin – a light at the end of the tunnel

Georg Duscher

Better feedback for hand hygiene using an innovative support system

Patrick Braß

Helios Klinikum Krefeld



Registration & Welcome Drink


Welcome Speech

Bernhard Küenburg, President Semmelweis Foundation
Thomas Szekeres, Austrian Medical Association
Michael Binder – Medical Director of the Viennese Hospital Association



CRE-free Europe: Prevention of antimicrobial resistance across all borders

Alexander W. Friedrich, University Medical Centre Groningen


Silo Busting – Challenging the old Problem of Interdisciplinary Work

Michael Binder – Medical Director of the Vienna Hospital Association

Anna Durnová, Political Scientist

Alexander W. Friedrich, University Medical Centre Groningen

Andreea Moldovan, St. Constantin Hospital Romania

Didier Pittet, Infection Control Programme & WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, The University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine

Thomas Szekeres, Austrian Medical Association

One of the most persisting problems in healthcare are departments: Thinking and acting in silos is not contributing to hospital hygiene. How can silos be busted?

What role could or should be taken by patients? Well informed and critical patients, as well as social media, could change the way nurses and doctors work – take a look at the changes in the tourism industry: reviews in online portals and on platforms can be existential for restaurants and hotels.

We have got the knowledge and technological know-how – why is infection-prevention, -surveillance and -control still an issue!?

At our conference in 2017 our topic was „Communication – the key for better infection surveillance and control“. During a lot of informal conversations we heard about great difficulties regarding hierarchies and that senior staff often prevents new working methods. How can we help healthcare workers change the system?

Changing the perspective can help a great deal – it is much easier to look at one discipline instead of looking at a system that puts patients first. When putting patients first, two things become clear – interdisciplinary work is necessary and the way budgets are being spent is debatable!





The view of a medical director on infection control

Ojan Assadian, Regional Hospital Neunkirchen

Lecture by OEGKH


One health

Reinhild Strauss, Federal Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection


The Robert Koch Institute’s approach to infection prevention and control in Germany.

Mardjan Arvand, Robert Koch Institute



The Development of Infection Control in Healthcare Settings in Hungary

Beatrix Oroszi, National Center for
Epidemiology Hungary



Catheter indused bloodstream infections and their prophylaxis from the point of view of the nursing practice.

Harald Titzer, Vienna General Hospital


Patient outcome on influenza-wards during two influenza seasons in three hospitals in Vienna after PCR point of care diagnosis in the emergency room.

Christoph Wenisch, Vienna Hospital Association

Lecture by OEGIT


Dinner & Networking

Ecolab Hygiene Party



Ecolab’s programmatic approach to hospital hygiene and patient safety



World Café by Biomedica




smart & sophisticated room and surface Bio Decontamination with DCX Technology



Registration / Breakfast


Silo Busting: from Semmelweis‘ time to today and beyond

Didier Pittet, Infection Control Programme & WHO Collaborating Centre on Patient Safety, The University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine





The Journey to becoming a Hand Hygiene Excellence Award Winner

Didier Pittet

Elke Schindler Regional Hospital Villach

Andreea Moldovan, St. Constantin Hospital


Careful use of antibiotics to reduce the development of resistance

Agnes Wechsler-Fördös



We Need Your Papers

Mohamed Abbas, Geneva University Hospitals


Presentation of Top 8 Abstracts




 Workshop „Patient Safety“

Hans Härting, AssekuRisk





The challenge of implementing molecular diagnostics for infection control

Fred Tenover, Cepheid



Patient near environment – State of the art disinfectants – a view on latest studies

Roland Knieler, Knieler & Team GmbH


Semmelweis’ lesson for the Current Innovations in Health Care

Anna Durnová, Political Scientist


The ongoing evolution of MRSA – does it matter for infection control

Fred Tenover, Cepheid


14.00 – 14.20

Recent outbreak in the Hospital for Cardiosurgery

Milena Petrovska, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University


14.20 – 14.40

Characteristics of reported hospital outbreaks in Hungary, 2007-2017

Andrea Kurcz, National Center for Public Health Hungary

14.40 – 15.00

Patient safety starts with me – The safety of care for patients in Romanian hospitals 

Ramona Marincaş, Satu Mare Emergency Hospital



Endoscope reprocessing between then and now

Magda Diab-Elschahawi – Vienna General Hospital


Patient safety

Maria Kletecka-Pulker, Austrian Network for Patient Safety


Technical aspects of water safety in hospitals

Alexander Blacky, CCM VAMED-KMB






CEE Initiative – Standardisation and Education

Viktorija Tomic, University Clinic of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases Golnik
Vlastimil Jindrak, National Institute of Public Health Prague
Kate Vulane, Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia
Ljiljana Markovic-Denic, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade
Lul Raka, National Institute of Public Health of Kosovo

Chair and Host:

Elisabeth Presterl, Vienna General Hospital



Surgical Site Infections

Mohamed Abbas, Geneva University Hospitals


How to deal with infections interdisciplinarily – an intensivist´s perspective

Claus Krenn, Medical University of Vienna


SSI: Practical Aspects

Tudor Birsan, Hospital of St. John of God



Guerilla marketing methods to increase hand hygiene awareness in healthcare workers in Romania

Alexandru Coman, Center for Health Policy and Public Health


Candida auris – human threat or harmless bug?

Birgit Willinger, MedUni Vienna

Lecture by OEGHMP


Bringing hand hygiene to the national level – the Hungarian case

Tamas Haidegger, HandInScan



Closing Statement

Bernhard Küenburg, President of Semmelweis Foundation



Ecolab’s programmatic approach to hospital hygiene and patient safety



World Café by Biomedica




smart & sophisticated room and surface Bio Decontamination with DCX Technology

A trusted partner at more than one million customer locations, Ecolab is the global leader in water, hygiene, energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2015 sales of $13.5 billion and 48,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the healthcare, food, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world.

Cepheid is a leading on-demand molecular diagnostics company that is dedicated to improvinghealthcare by developing fully-integrated systems and accurate yet easy-to-use molecular tests. Thecompany is focusing on applications where rapid and actionable test results are needed most, in fieldssuch as critical and healthcare-associated infections, sexual health, genetic diseases, virology and cancer. WWW.CEPHEIDINTERNATIONAL.COM

Biomedica is a leading distributor of Medical Devices, In Vitro Diagnostics, Life Sciences, Biomedica Immunoassays and Clinical IT throughout Central Eastern Europe (CEE) for more than 40 years. Supported by a team of 280 professionals based in its headquarters in Vienna and 12 offices/ subsidiaries in CEE, Biomedica supplies its customers working in healthcare and research with flexible, customized solutions, high-quality products as well as comprehensive support in the areas of application, service and training.

L&R is a leading solution provider in the fields of medicine, hygiene and care. With more than 160 years of expertise, 5,000 employees, 49 subsidiaries and shareholdings, as well as more than 130 selected partners, L&R realized a sales volume of more than 650 million euros in 2018. The company’s headquarters are located in Rengsdorf (Germany) and Vienna (Austria). The entrepreneurial spirit of L&R reflects in the corporate claim: People.Health.Care. – the human, the health and the care for both.

Bacteria, viruses and fungi affect every aspect of our lives. At UVCmed, we support you to obtain the highest possible asepsis in healthcare. For that purpose we offer special products and services to meet your individual demands.

Founded in 1982, VAMED has become the leading global provider of a full line of services for hospitals and other health care facilities. The group has implemented about 850 projects in more than 80 countries on five continents. VAMED’s portfolio ranges from project development, planning and turnkey equipment via maintenance, technical, commercial and infrastructure services to the total operational management of health care facilities. With its portfolio of services, VAMED covers the entire range of health care, from health tourism and preventive medicine via medical care and nursing to aftercare and rehabilitation. VAMED is Austria’s leading private provider of rehabilitation services and, through VAMED Vitality World, the company is also Austria’s largest operator of thermal spas and health resorts. In the year 2017 the VAMED group was responsible for more than 18,000 staff worldwide, generating a volume of business of € 1.7 bn.

HandInScan steps into the footprints of Ignaz Semmelweis, fighting healthcare-associated infections with evidence-based practices. The Semmelweis Scanner offers a total quality solution for hand hygiene skill training, monitoring and performance assessment.   The system provides immediate feedback on the actual hand hygiene technique, resulting in rapid improvement of the healthcare workers’ compliance with the current protocols. Staff inclusion and patient empowerment are supported via real-time, customizable reporting system, also offering accurate and timely quality reports to the management.

DCX Technologies GmbH is a privately held Austrian Health care provider, founded in 2011. The company is focused on development, delivery, service and implementation of innovative Bio-Decontamination systems based on a validated dry aerosol technology for room and surface decontamination in hospitals and the health care system. Also parasites and especially bed bugs and their eggs can be inactivated. GmbH is a service partner of DCX Technologies.


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Alexander W. Friedrich

Alexandru Coman

Andreea Moldovan

Anna Durnová

Beatrix Oroszi

Bernhard Kuenburg

Birgit Willinger

Blacky Alexander

Christoph Wenisch

Elke Schindler

Fred Tenover Key

Fred Tenover MRSA

Harald Titzer

Kate Vulane

Ketecka Pulker

Lul Raka

Magda Diab-Elschahawi

Mardjan Arvand

Markovic Denic

Milena Petrovska

Ojan Assadian

Ramona Marincas

Roland Knieler

Reinhild Strauss

Tamas Haidegger

Viktorija Tomic

Vlastimil Jindrank