Patient safety in hospitals

According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (collected through the NRZ), every year between 440,000 and 600,000 treatment-related hospital infections occur. Current studies estimate that around one third of these infections with resistant or non-resistant germs were avoidable. The Ministry of Health has committed itself to reducing the number of infections. For example, a 10-point plan will further improve the hygiene standards in hospitals.


Hands disinfect

Photo: picture alliance/dpa

In this context, the wirksam regieren project group is conducting a nationwide pilot project on behalf of the Ministry of Health. The National Reference Centre for the Surveillance of Nosocomial Infections at the Charité, Berlin (NRZ) is cooperation partner. The aim is to promote the prevention of infections and to promote the implementation of hygiene standards through a cultural change in intensive care units.

Aim of the project

Improvement of the implementation of the WHO/RKI (Robert Koch Institute) recommendations for hand hygiene through participative learning and skills development in the participating intensive care units in order to reduce infections with resistant and non-resistant germs.


The intensive care units hold regular team meetings. Doctors and nursing staff work together and hands-on on the improvement of working procedures and hand hygiene. The team solutions are jointly implemented, the results are measured and discussed in the next team meeting. All experiences and skills are taken into account. Joint responsibility, cooperation and motivation are improved.


Stepped wedge design with around 100 intensive care units across Germany. Over a period of one year each intensive care unit conducts monthly outcome measurements over.

Current status

Preliminary results from the first of two study cohorts will be available in September 2017. Data collection for the second cohort will be completed in August 2018. The report on the findings will be published in the third quarter of 2018.

Share the article