A major public health concern in the post-COVID era is the emergence of a global epidemic of infections caused by pathogens with increased antibiotic resistance in the community and in health care settings, as well as in the nursing homes for elderly. Actions to address this epidemic have been taken in the European Union by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) and at global level by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
To treat multi-resistant pathogen infections with the aim of providing greater protection for its patients, visitors, staff, and the hospital in general, the Henry Dunant Hospital Center has created and operates a special Infectious Diseases Stewardship program with the participation of all the doctors of the institution, under the general coordination of Mr. Georgios Saroglou, Professor Emeritus of Infectious Disease Pathology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (UOA).
This is an innovative initiative based on the latest international standards for the implementation of an Infectious Diseases Nosocomial Stewardship program that includes actions at three different levels: (a) actions in the hospital’s Microbiology Laboratory (Lab Stewardship), (b) actions for the rational use of antibiotics (Antibiotic Stewardship), (c) actions for the control and prevention of nosocomial infections (Infection Control Stewardship).
Implemented by the most well-organized hospitals in the USA and Western Europe, the program provides for specific infection controls for sensitive areas of the hospital, such as the ICU, the Oncology Day Care Unit, the Interventional Cardiology Laboratories, Bronchoscopy Laboratories, Gastroscopy Laboratories and Interventional Radiology Laboratories. Through this triple matrix of actions can be achieved a faster and more valid diagnosis of the pathogenic cause of an infection, which is the main objective, while allowing for a better use of the hospital’s resources for laboratory diagnosis and timely results.
Welcoming Mr. Saroglou to the family of the Henry Dunant Hospital Center, the hospital’s president and CEO, Mr. Themos Charamis, stressed that: “The overall action of the programs we are now implementing at the Henry Dunant significantly enhances the infection control and prevention planning within the hospital, making this institution comparable to major facilities abroad. The leading position of the Henry Dunant is moreover guaranteed by Joint Commission International (JCI), the most authoritative accreditation body, and for our part, we must continue on the same upward path with pioneering steps.”
Introducing the organization and operation of the special Infectious Diseases Stewardship, Mr. Saroglou commented: “It has been documented by many national and European studies that multi-drug resistant bacteria infections constitute a major problem for Greek hospitals also, especially in immunocompromised patients. Through the program we are implementing at Henry Dunant, we also emphasise the continuous training of our medical, nursing, and other staff in infections, which is the greatest guarantee for the hospital’s protection.”