euPrevent MRSA Project

Since the end of the 20th century, crossing the borders of the countries that make up the European Union has become increasingly easy. In healthcare too, patients are crossing borders more frequently. Patient safety (e.g, protecting patients from infections) is a cross-border topic.

In 2009 care organisations in the border region between the Netherlands and Germany wanted to tackle this problem eugionally. They started the EurSafety Health-Net project along the entire border between Germany and the Netherlands. The Belgian regions in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) also wanted to cooperate in this project. This resulted in starting an administratively independent EurSafety Health-Net project under the name euPrevent MRSA.

Project’s framework

Final target group: patients and citizens from the EMR

Duration: 1 July 2009 until 30 June 2012

Focus of the project

The project partners wanted to improve the protection of patients receiving cross-border care in hospitals and nursing homes in the EMR from the danger of infection. They did this by:

  • Activities: various educational campaigns, topic-days, public campaigns and congresses to inform citizens and professionals.
  • Quality seal: the quality seal that has been developed showed which hospitals and nursing homes were actively tackling infection control.
  • Collaboration: organisations worked together euregionally in the field of infection control, both during and after the project.
  • Research: various studies mapped out the situation as of that moment.


A lot of attention was given to exchanging knowledge in the euPrevent MRSA project, the aim being to use this information throughout the entire EMR. This mainly involved:

  1. Passing on standard hygienic measures, such as hand-washing hygiene.
  2. Euregional Antibiotics Stewardship in hospitals, nursing clinics and old-people’s homes (aiming at the conscious use of antibiotics throughout the entire EMR).

A number of results:

  • Thanks to the exchange of ‘best practices’, Germany and Belgium have adopted certain efficient methods of working from the Netherlands.
  • An approach has been agreed that applies to the entire EMR: the joint control of multi-resistant pathogens.
  • Publicity campaigns informed citizens about hand-washing hygiene, antibiotics and the prevention of infection with MRSA.


The project involved carrying out studies into the following research topics:

  • How widespread is antibiotic resistance in the 3 countries in the EMR?
  • How are antibiotic resistant bacteria spreading within and between care institutions in the 3 countries of the EMR?
  • How often are infections contracted outside hospitals (after admission)?

An Euregional surveillance system has been set up: A systematic surveillance (registration, analysis and evaluation) of infections that were contracted in hospital. This system makes it easier to recognise infection-related problems and make more specific use of preventive measures.


A powerful network formed, with several sub-networks within the EMR. This network was primarily made up of hospitals. Other relevant institutions were involved right from the start. In total, more than 150 institutions from the participating regions were involved in the project:

This has created a sustainable basis for euregional collaboration in the field of infection control.

Quality seal

The quality seal developed within the euPrevent MRSA project is still being used. An institution that displays the quality seal reflects shows that it is actively working on patient safety, with priority for hygiene and infection control. The quality seal was initially developed for hospitals only. Due to the amount of interest, a quality seal has been developed for nursing homes and rehabilitation clinics too.


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December 15, 2012

Health Price NRW 2012