Core competencies for infection control and hospital hygiene professionals in the European Union
This document is published with the intent of proposing a comprehensive list of core competencies that should be adopted by infection control and hospital hygiene professionals across Europe.
Core competencies are listed in two columns, one for senior specialists (‘expert level’) and one adapted for junior specialists (‘introductory level’).
With this technical report, the intent of ECDC is to propose a comprehensive list of core competencies that should be adopted by infection control and hospital hygiene professionals across Europe.
The use of these core competencies would support:
- standardisation of the competencies for infection control and hospital hygiene professionals in Europe;
- design and implementation of training courses according to different national contexts while facilitating the mutual recognition of competencies across EU Member States;
- self-assessment of performance for infection control and hospital hygiene professionals and planning of their professional development;
- identification of the needs of healthcare organisations with regard to professional staff; and
- evaluation of the performance of infection control and hospital hygiene professionals.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are recognised as a major burden for patients, society and healthcare management. In 2008, ECDC estimated that more than four million people acquire a HAI each year in the EU, of which approximately 37000 die as the direct consequence of the infection.
Effective prevention and control of HAI in healthcare organisations relies on specialised infection control and hospital hygiene staff in charge of elaborating, implementing and monitoring local preventive measures such as hand hygiene and patient isolation.
Healthcare-associated infections: surgical site infections - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017
10 Oct 2019 - In 2017, 10 149 SSIs were reported from a total of 648 512 surgical procedures.
Healthcare-associated infections in intensive care units - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017
10 Oct 2019 - In 2017, 8.3% (11 787) of the patients who stayed in intensive-care units (ICUs) for more than two days presented with at least one ICU-acquired healthcare-associated infection (HAI) under surveillance (pneumonia, bloodstream infection, or urinary tract infection).
Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae - second update
27 Sep 2019 - Carbapenem resistance in Enterobacteriaceae such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli poses a significant threat to patients and healthcare systems in all European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries. Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections are associated with high mortality, primarily due to delays in administration of effective treatment and the limited availability of treatment options. Hypervirulent carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae strains have been reported presenting an additional threat with a potential for global dissemination. The spread of high risk clones and plasmids carrying carbapenemases in healthcare settings is a major cause of the spread of CRE in EU/EEA countries. Recent events of cross-border importation after patient transfer and large regional outbreaks as well as the worsening epidemiologic situation of carbapenemase-producing CRE in the EU/EEA highlight the high risk for further spread of CRE and the need for enhanced control efforts. Options for control are outlined in the respective section below.