WHO Patient safety

Clean Care is Safer Care

Understanding the causes of medical errors and finding solutions


In order to raise hand hygiene compliance worldwide, the WHO has been involved in both raising awareness and setting guidelines and tools for successful hand hygiene implementation.The rise of awareness on hand hygiene has been done through a collaborative effort by many researchers whose studies have constantly shown that hand hygiene greatly reduces nosocomial infection rates. As for the implementation of a successful hand hygiene program, the WHO issued its official guidelines for hand hygiene in healthcare facilities. Many tools and posters have also been issued by the WHO on hand hygiene and monitoring to promote hand hygiene amongst their staff. One of the key features of WHO recommendations as far as hand hygiene implementation is concerned has been the 5 moment for hand hygiene guidelines. The guidelines emphasize the practice of correct hand hygiene inside patient rooms at certain moments during a care routine, as it has been found that non-compliance has the most impact on Patient Safety.


To actually implement those recommendation on hand hygiene, WHO as part of the Clean Care is Safer Care program has been conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health from member States, signing formal commitments on the fight against nosocomial infections through improving hand hygiene in their country. As of now, more than two thirds of WHO member States have already signed the pledge to take action. From now on, the project aims at continuing to raise awareness on the field of hand hygiene through studies and monitoring of nosocomial infections and finding ways to improve infection prevention through hand hygiene. On this aspect, the WHO plans to regularly update its guidelines on hand hygiene.


WHO Global Patient Safety :

Objective: Insuring no patient gets harmed while being treated in a healthcare facility.

Clean Care is Safer Care (Since 2005)

1st Global Patient Safety challenge
Objective: Reducing nosocomial infection rate by promoting the most simple and efficient counter measure - Hand Hygiene

Safe Surgery Saves Lives (Since 2009)

2nd Global Patient Safety challenge
Objective: Reducing the rate of medical errors during surgery through check lists.


WHO Program

"Cleaner Care is Safer Care: An initiative born in 2005 from the WHO Global Patient Safety Program"

When a patient goes to the hospital, he expects to see his conditions improve not worsen. Yet the act itself of staying in a hospital may lead a patient to have his health conditions deteriorate due to medical adverse events. Medical adverse events are either the result of faculty error (incorrect prescription, wrong diagnosis, etc.) or due to the contraction of a nosocomial infection from poor hygiene.

To reduce medical adverse events, in 2004 the WHO launched the Global Patient Safety Program. As part of its first challenge to improve patient safety worldwide, the WHO started in 2005 engaging in the "Cleaner Care is Safer Care" program to promote hand hygiene. The reason is simple: nosocomial infections constitute the most serious medical adverse events and hand hygiene is the simplest and most efficient way to combat them. Therefore, the simplest and most efficient way to make patient care a safer care is to promote hand hygiene. This is the reason why the WHO has made hand hygiene the focal point of its first Global Patient Safety Challenge.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 November 2011 06:22