Experts to Discuss New Hand Hygiene Discoveries Via Webcast


With global health issues such as H1N1 influenza and MRSA driving new infection control concerns, Medline Industries, Inc. announced today an exclusive Webcast event on practical hand hygiene solutions featuring experts Dr. Didier Pittet and Dr. Gunter Kampf.

The Webcast, “Hand Hygiene: New Discoveries,” will be available for viewing exclusively on Medline's educational site during International Infection Prevention Week, Oct. 18-24.  Free continuing education credits -- one given per each presentation -- will be available.  For registration information, visit

Pittet is hospital epidemiologist and director of the infection control program at the University of Geneva Hospitals in Switzerland.  He is also an advisory board member of the World Health Organization (WHO) World Alliance for Patient Safety.  His presentation, "Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategies," reviews the WHO recommendations for safe and effective hand hygiene programs and asks the provocative question: "Why does the U.S. lag behind the rest of the world in hand hygiene compliance?"

Kampf, a member of the German Association for Infection Control and a lecturer at the Ernst Moritz University in Germany, is the author or co-author of 119 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in international and national journals on infection control.  His presentation, "How Effective are Your Hand Sanitizing Techniques," details why foams may not make the most effective form of hand rubs, as well as world standards on how high the ethanol concentration should really be to effectively reduce infections.

The Webcast presentations were filmed during Medline's recent Prevention Above All conference, where more than 100 chief medical officers and chief nursing officers from hospitals and health systems in 34 states gathered to discuss issues and solutions to improve patient safety, minimize hospital-acquired conditions and reduce cost.

Hospital-acquired infections affect at least 2 million patients, are estimated to contribute to 88,000 deaths annually in the U.S. and account for nearly $5 billion in treatment costs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that one-third of these infections can be prevented by implementing better infection control programs and that hand hygiene is the most important measure preventing the spread of infection.

Faced with such numbers, hospitals and healthcare facilities are adopting new tools, products and techniques that enhance infection-control efforts, such as waterless hand sanitizers that make it easier for physicians and nurses to practice optimum hand hygiene. The World Health Organization, however, reports an average hand hygiene compliance rate among healthcare workers of only 40 percent.



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