gms | German Medical Science

GMS Hygiene and Infection Control

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Krankenhaushygiene (DGKH)

ISSN 2196-5226

Mastering old challenges with new alliances – how to breathe life in the amendments to the federal regulations for infection control in Germany

Alte Herausforderungen mit neuen Allianzen meistern – Wege zur Umsetzung des Infektionsschutzänderungsgesetzes in Deutschland


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  • corresponding author Nils-Olaf Hübner - Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  • Axel Kramer - Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  • Wolfram Mittelmeyer - Orthopedic Clinic and Ambulance, University Rostock, Germany

GMS Krankenhaushyg Interdiszip 2011;6(1):Doc27

doi: 10.3205/dgkh000184, urn:nbn:de:0183-dgkh0001848

Veröffentlicht: 15. Dezember 2011

© 2011 Hübner et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Recently, amendments to the federal regulations for infection control in Germany (Infektionsschutzänderungsgesetz) have passed the legislative. This act, as part of the German strategy against antimicrobial resistance (Deutsche Antibiotika Resistenz Strategie, DART), is an important step for the regulative base of infection prevention in Germany, as it provides the legal structures needed to master the challenges by nosocomial infections and multiresistant organisms. An act however can only provide the legal framework for concrete solutions. History has shown that such solutions require more than the political will, but in fact people with motivation, ability and the necessary resources to breathe life into the articles of the act.

This issue of “GMS Krankenhaushygiene Interdisziplinär” encircles a wide area of current problems in hospital hygiene from so-far neglected risks in endoscopy to anaesthesiology and the treatment of chronic wounds to skin care but has a special focus on multiresistant organisms (MRO), one of the greatest challenge of medicine worldwide.

While problems with bacterial resistances are a global threat, solutions for such problems have to concern the regional players in health care and their individual interests. Over the last couple of years, networks of health care providers have formed in Germany as well as other European countries to bring together those who are willing to battle nosocomial infections and MRO. Some of these networks have been supported by federal grants in Germany since. HICARE (Gesundheitsregion Ostseeküste), the Health Region Baltic Sea Coast, is one of the biggest of those networks, as it brings together more than 40 partners from research, business, and health care in their efforts to jointly battle MROs (Figure 1 [Fig. 1]). This network is funded by a total sum of over 16 million Euros in research grants by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education, the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and grants given by the participating hospitals and registered doctors, health care institutions, health insurances and medical industry. However, as stated above, more than money is needed for a successful battle against MROs. A relevant part of the manuscripts in this issue are based on presentations held on the HICARE-kick-off-workshop in spring 2011 as well as the current research output of the project’s six research fields (Figure 2 [Fig. 2]). Beside the scientific output, one of the maybe most important, but modest, results of this project is that stakeholders from all over research, business, and health care have agreed to one joint mission statement that sets the basic principles for all partners despite of their individual, and sometimes conflicting, interests (Figure 3 [Fig. 3]).

The next steps will be to underlay the project with more practical results and at the same time involve other regions and partners into the network. So, this issue is an invitation to collaborate and make the efforts against MRO international, too.