Hospital infections are a major public health issue and are associated with increasing rates of morbidity and mortality in patients and with the extension of their hospital stay. In comparison with the European average, Portugal has the highest prevalence rates of hospital infections and the problem is growing.
In response to this challenge, the Gulbenkian Foundation has launched the ‘Gulbenkian Challenge Stop Infeção Hospitalar!’ (Stop Hospital Infection!) with the aim of reducing the rate of hospital infections by 50% over the next 3 years in 12 hospitals.
The 12 hospitals participating are in a 36-month collaborative learning process, which should lead to progressive levels of improvements in practices. Results will be monitored and regular reporting and assessment will take place.
There have been significant increases in the levels of compliance with the measures proposed, which in turn has led to notable repercussions in lowering the rates of infection.