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Hand hygiene is the most effective way to stop the spread of microorganisms and to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAI). The World Health Organization launched the First Global Patient Safety Challenge - Clean Care is Safer Care - in 2005 with the goal to prevent HAI globally. This year, on 5 May, the WHO’s initiative SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands, which focuses on increasing awareness of and improving compliance with hand hygiene practices, celebrated its second global day. In this article, four Member States of the European Union describe strategies that were implemented as part of their national hand hygiene campaigns and were found to be noteworthy. The strategies were: governmental support, the use of indicators for hand hygiene benchmarking, developing national surveillance systems for auditing alcohol-based hand rub consumption, ensuring seamless coordination of processes between health regions in countries with regionalised healthcare systems, implementing the WHO's My Five Moments for Hand Hygiene, and auditing of hand hygiene compliance.


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