Clean Hospital Day 2022 International Conference Addresses Environmental Hygiene Issues

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Infection control today® (TIC®) welcomed back Alexandra Peters, PhD, this time to speak about the third annual Clean Hospitals Day International Conference to be held on October 20, 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland. In the exclusive interview, Peters describes the upcoming conference and its presentation. TIC® covered the research she will present at the conference here. TIC®it is conference coverage is here.

TIC®: Could you please tell the public about the next Clean Hospitals conference?

Alexander Peters, PhD: This is the first international Clean Hospital Day conference [in person]. Clean Hospitals is a public body [and] private partnership that we have been building since 2018. We started what we call Clean Hospital Day which happens once a year like World Hand Hygiene Day [except] for environmental hygiene (EH), and in health care. It’s about putting cleaners in the spotlight, putting hospital managers in the spotlight and EH in general, and getting a lot of activity around those social media and getting the company involved, to involve the hospital, and it is still in its infancy. This will only be the third year that we have tried to do this. But this is the first time we’ve hosted a live international conference, and the first time since COVID-19 that we’ve been able to bring everyone from EH together.

TIC®: And all in the beautiful city of Geneva. What topics will be covered?

PA: We have 4 main themes for the conference. One is environmental control. The other is the self-assessment framework that we are working on on medical device reprocessing and then air and water testing. All 4 themes of the scientific program are declined with different speakers. There are 10 sessions. A part of [the themes] have 3 [speakers]some of them have 2 [speakers]. There are 10 different speakers, 10 sessions, and we’ll cover a lot of interesting and salient issues around HE today. We have Stephanie Dancer from the UK. We have some of the chief doctors in our hospital. We have people from the Netherlands and from France. There’s a lot going on. It will be good for all of us to get together and [have] an exchange in a way that we couldn’t during COVID-19.

Then we have the science program. Our partner companies organize different symposia at different times of the day. One is during the lunch break. There are still a few symposia during the coffee break. And they show the scientific studies that have been published using their different advancements and different inventions and technologies that they have been working on with the hand and the EH. [The conference is] covering a wide area. I’ve already seen the topics, and the discussions are going to be great. They also invite speakers. It will be a dense day where many interesting people will gather their ideas. I’m very excited about this.

TIC®: Tell us also about your presentation.

PA: [I will be] speaking of health care, the self-assessment framework EH. It is a tool for healthcare facilities to assess how well their HE programs are working and where they can be improved. The framework was organized around the 5 components of the World Health Organization (WHO) multimodal improvement strategy that was used, which was developed in Geneva, in fact, and then adopted by the WHO , for hand hygiene, and which is used all over the world. world. They’ve done 3 global surveys and that’s a big deal with thousands of hospitals taking part, and you can see how healthcare facilities are improving every few years and how they’re actually able to focus directly on areas of weakness because it’s easy to say “We need to improve”, but it’s difficult to determine exactly where to allocate your resources and [figure out] what kind of resources. It’s even more of a challenge in EH, because it’s such a big field, and there are so many components, so many different people involved, you have your cleaning staff, your nursing staff, purchasing, hospital management . You have all these different actors. And then you have all these different environments, surfaces, laundry and air control, and water treatment, waste management, and all these different things that you’re supposed to be able to have a view of. together of everything.

What the self-assessment framework does is allow you to drill down and see what areas need improvement. Maybe it’s not even the products that are used, or the systems that are put in place, maybe it’s just a matter of better communication and better teamwork, and how to change the work culture, for example. So that’s what we’re going to talk about. We conducted the pilot study that was published in American Journal of Infection Control which we have already talked about [previously]. This was the pilot study of this tool, and we had 51 hospitals from 35 different countries, and it shows how much work remains to be done. The tool is almost complete, so we’ll dive a little deeper into that, with a little more detail.

There is time for networking and a cocktail afterwards. The conference is taking place right next to the airport, less than 5 minutes walk from where your plane lands, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Come in, put your things down, walk to the conference. This [hotel] was chosen because we have so many people coming from all over so they can get there easier and it doesn’t get too cold. Geneva is an incredibly beautiful city.

TIC®: When the conference comes, TIC® we’ll cover and talk with some of the speakers. Thanks a lot.

PA: Thank you, and if anyone wants to contact us to come to the conference, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will sort everything out.

The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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