Clean Hospitals Day Marks the Launch of the HEHSAF Tool


“Celebrate Clean Hospitals Day with us. We're an association that is trying to get out there and make people's lives a bit safer and better. Join us!” Alexandra Peters, PhD

Clean Hospitals Day is celebrated on October 20, 2023. The significance of health care environmental cleanliness in infection prevention and control (IPC) has gained substantial recognition. Similar to the well-known World Hand Hygiene Day, Clean Hospitals Day, celebrated annually on October 20, shares the mission of enhancing awareness and engagement among health care institutions worldwide.

A newly released resource, the Healthcare Environmental Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HEHSAF), has been created and globally validated to support health care facilities in enhancing their environmental hygiene programs and monitoring progress.

Didier Pittet, MD, MS, CBE, Chair of Clean Hospitals Association

“In environmental hygiene, it is crucial that all interventions and improvement projects are multimodal in nature. We can't just improve by doing one thing, we have to consider both the technical and the human elements of environmental hygiene if we want to see lasting change.”

To learn more about Clean Hospitals Day celebrations and the HEHSAF tool, Infection Control Today® (ICT®) spoke with Alexandra Peters, PhD, scientific lead scientist at Infection Control Programme, Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland Institute for Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland. She is also an ICT Editorial Advisory Board member.

Dirty hospitals are dangerous. Clean Hospitals 2023    (Photo Credit: Clean Hospitals)

Dirty hospitals are dangerous. Clean Hospitals 2023

(Photo Credit: Clean Hospitals)

Peters explained the history and purpose of Clean Hospitals Day. Peters explained the history and purpose of Clean Hospitals Day.

“Clean Hospitals Day was modeled on the fifth of May hand hygiene campaign, which became global and became one of the most successful [World Health Organization] campaigns,” Peters explained. “We're modeling it on the same campaign that was also started with the same group in [Geneva, Switzerland]. And we want to make people aware of health care and environmental hygiene in their facilities, [and] celebrate the people who clean and the managers and the people who spend their lives making sure that the patient environment is safe. Seeing as how those people are often overlooked, underrepresented, often underpaid, and not celebrated very often, we want to take that opportunity to do that."

New this year, the Healthcare Environmental Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HEHSAF) was launched internationally at the Interclean Show China, on October 18 to 20, 2023, with several more languages.

“When institutions if they commit to tools like [HEHSAF], and if they implement them, and they work on having a group of people that follows it up over time that keeps working on improvement, there will be a reduction in health care-associated infections, and probably an increase in patient satisfaction. Because at the end of the day, we all have an idea of what cleaning should be in some ways, [and] sometimes easier for patients to notice,” Peters explained.

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