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Hand Hygiene

The main objective of the HH campaigns is to increase the compliance to >70%, thus reducing the rate of health care acquired infections, morbidity, mortality and healthcare cost.Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) place a tremendous burden on public health resources in industrialized countries. Based on data from the Belgian surveillance of nosocomial infections from the Scientific Institute of Public health (IPH), the Federal Platform for Infection Control (FPIC) estimates that each year 107 500 patients hospitalized in Belgian acute care hospitals suffer from HAIs, resulting in 2 500 to 3 000 deaths, and generating excess costs of at least 116 million euros . Transmission of microbial pathogens by the hands of health care workers (HCWs) during patient care plays a crucial role in the spread of HAIs. Therefore, it is not surprising that hand hygiene is generally regarded as the most effective measure to prevent these infections, with several reports showing a temporal relation between improved hand hygiene practices and reduced infection rates. Countrywide campaigns to promote hand hygiene - which combined audit with performance feedback, reminders, educational sessions for HCWs, promotion of alcohol-based hand rubs, and patient awareness - have positive results. However, such campaigns need to be repeated regularly to obtain lasting effects

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