With this technical report, the intent of European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (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:
- standardization 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 organizations with regard to professional staff; and
- evaluation of the performance of infection control and hospital hygiene professionals.
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 organizations relies on specialized infection control and hospital hygiene staff in charge of elaborating, implementing and monitoring local preventive measures such as hand hygiene and patient isolation.