Ecolab Participating In World Health Organization Initiative To Improve Patient Safety

Jun 14, 2012 8:35 PM ET

(3BL Media) St. Paul, MN - June 14, 2012 - Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) is participating in a major World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to reduce health care associated infections (HAIs) by improving hand hygiene compliance rates in health care facilities around the world.  According to a recent WHO report, of every 100 hospitalized patients, at least seven in developed countries and 10 in developing countries will acquire an infection during their stay.  In intensive care units, the infection rate can be as high as 30 percent of all patients. Poor hand hygiene is a major factor in the spread of infection.

The WHO Private Organizations for Patient Safety platform, a collaboration between the WHO and a consortium of 15 companies involved in the development, manufacture or distribution of hand hygiene products, will work to increase hand hygiene compliance in health care facilities around the world through three key areas: research, education and system change. The consortium will share information, align promotional messaging for hand hygiene products with WHO recommendations, and encourage product availability and accessibility in all parts of the world.

A new WHO survey of more than 2,000 healthcare facilities in 69 countries found that only 65 percent of the facilities surveyed are achieving a “good level of progress” with regards to hand hygiene promotion, resources and activities. At least 35 percent of the facilities surveyed are still at an inadequate or basic level of hand hygiene compliance.

“Ecolab is committed to improving patient safety, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with leading experts to reduce HAIs and help ensure that hospitals are healthy places to heal,” said Timothy Mulhere, executive vice president and president, Global Healthcare, Ecolab.  “Our experienced field team will be able to share best practices and project outcomes of the collaboration with our customers and also provide regional feedback and suggestions to the global consortium.”

Ecolab’s Global Healthcare business offers a complete line of hand hygiene products designed to meet the unique efficacy and skin care needs of health care professionals, including soaps, sanitizers, lotions and surgical scrubs.

About Ecolab

With 2011 pro forma sales of $11 billion and more than 40,000 employees, Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that provide and protect clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments. Ecolab delivers comprehensive programs and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets in more than 160 countries. For more Ecolab news and information, visit