Minimum requirements for hospitals

Hospitals need to meet certain requirements in order to prevent and control healthcare-associated infections (HAI) effectively. Uniform national minimum requirements for acute-care hospitals were published in January 2021.

Science-based and widely supported

The minimum requirements were developed by a working group led by Swissnoso with the involvement of the relevant professional societies (Swiss Society for Hospital Hygiene SSHH, Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases SSI, the infection-prevention nurses’ group SIPI in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and its German-speaking counterpart fibs ). The catalogue is based on scientific evidence and recommendations from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The FOPH, the GDK and H+ acknowledge the significance of these national minimum requirements and recommend their implementation by the cantons and hospitals.

Requirements in a number of areas

The catalogue defines 7 key components:

  • Guidelines and instructions
  • Material and equipment
  • Organisation of hospital hygiene and staffing
  • Task-oriented training
  • Audits and monitoring
  • Infection monitoring and data evaluation
  • Interventions
Although such measures are already in force in many hospitals, their implementation is very inconsistent – partly because the same conditions do not exist in small hospitals as in large ones. The requirements catalogue developed by Swissnoso takes these differences into account.

Official start of implementing minimum requirements

The first National Symposium on 27 August 2021, organised by Swissnoso, marked the launch of the wide-scale introduction of structural minimum requirements. More than 180 people from cantonal authorities, hospital management staff and hospital hygiene teams took part in the event.

Participants welcomed the opportunity to exchange ideas across professions and disciplines. The discussions highlighted not only the unanimous support for introducing minimim requirements, but also that most hospitals had already implemented many measures.

The mutual exchange of experience will continue within the professional groups, and also between the FOPH, the cantonal authorities and hospital management staff. Swissnoso will analyse the need for support and develop tools in order to facilitate implementing the minimum structural requirements in hospital practice.  

Last modification 02.12.2021

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Division of Communicable Diseases
Infection Control and Vaccination Programme Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Berne
Switzerland
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