Lisa presents at the World Hand Hygiene Day

May 20, 2024by Grabovac Group

Each year on May 5th, the world and the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrate World Hand Hygiene Day. May 5th, if you showed it with your hands, would have you use all five fingers of both of your hands – emphasizing the importance of hand hygiene. For World Hand Hygiene Day 2024, Lisa Lehner gave a talk on some early results of the “Less is More?”-project in a Webinar organized by the Austrian Ministry of Health.

Optimizing Antibiotic Stewardship

Focusing on the topic of hygiene more generally, the Austrian Ministry of Health invited an interested audience in person and online to the premises of the Veterinary University of Vienna (VetMedUni). The 11th Symposium celebrating World Hand Hygiene Day in Vienna provided insights through a range of input talks and project presentations. Lisa Lehner presented a segment of the earliest “Less is More?” results, honing in on interviews with prescribers and healthcare workers in hospital settings around Vienna. In her talk, she focused on how antibiotic stewardship (ABS) – efforts to improve prescription and use of antibiotics in the face of antibiotic resistance (AMR) – could potentially be optimized by focusing on, attending to, and evaluating the social aspects of ABS.

Social Aspects of ABS

Lisa argued that these social components were often sidelined or seen as less important, particularly in the hospital setting. But context, infrastructures, power and hierarchies, or social interactions were indeed just as important for the success of any ABS efforts or implementation of (new) guidelines. Based on our interview data, she highlighted:

  • the interactions of doctors and patients,
  • work practices and available (time, personnel, digital, and social) resources,
  • addressing AMR on multiple levels from the medical curriculum to general education,
  • transparent data sharing,
  • and emphasis on inter- and multi-professional work processes.
Overall, she made clear that ABS measures and establishing (new) guidelines also required in-depth evaluation and quality assurance, involving interdisciplinary teams as well as public health and social sciences knowledge.
For more on the Less Is More Project click here.

Grabovac Group