Profession & Career

ESCMID Panorama

Awardee 2009 for Excellence in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Didier Pittet born 1957; MD, MS, Professor of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology, Hospital Epidemiologist, and Director of the Infection Control Programme at the University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland. He also holds honorary professorships at: the Division of Investigative Sciences and School of Medicine, the Hammersmith Hospitals, Imperial College, London, UK; the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Health Science; and the 1st Medical School of the Fu, Shanghai, China.
Didier Pittet is an external consultant to the UK National Patient Safety Advisory Committee, advisor to the Infection Control Centre of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Health Science, international advisor to the Gulf Cooperation Council (States) Centre for Infection Control, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and member of the ICAAC Program Committee. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the World Health Organization World Alliance for Patient Safety and Lead of the First Global Patient Safety Challenge ‘Clean Care is Safer Care’, a core component of the Alliance since 2004.

Research Interests
For the past two decades, Didier Pittet’s research has focused on the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infection through the development of innovative multidisciplinary and multifaceted approaches. His early main research interest was on the epidemiology and prevention of bloodstream and catheter-related infections. In 1992, he was appointed director of a dedicated infection control programme at the University of Geneva Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine and began to investigate concepts from the social sciences to help understand the determinants driving healthcare worker behaviour to improve compliance with infection control and, in particular, hand hygiene practices. This led to the creation of a multimodal strategy based on education, recognition of opportunities for hand hygiene, and feedback performance known as the ’Geneva Hand Hygiene Model’. The ‘Geneva Model’ was adopted in 2005 by the World Health Organization World Alliance for Patient Safety as a basis for a global implementation strategy for the promotion of hand hygiene in all types of healthcare settings worldwide, regardless of resources available. Today, he continues to investigate methods to improve the quality of patient care and safety.