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HUG Award

HUG wins award for smarter medicine in intensive care

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At the 46th World Hospital Congress organised by the International Hospital Federation (IHF), the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) received the silver Mastercard Excellence Award in the field of quality of care and patient safety. The award went to the “Smarter medicine in intensive care” project.



Bertrand Levrat, Chief Executive Officer of the HUG, expressed his “great pride that the HUG have been honoured with these awards for excellence, which underline the quality of their services”. He emphasised “the importance of interdisciplinary work, which contributes to these results for the benefit of patients, as well as improving the sustainability of care”.
Towards responsible intensive care
In 2019, the staff of the HUG Intensive Care Unit launched a Smarter medicine approach involving HUG experts in intensive care medicine, quality management, laboratory medicine, work engineering and internal communication.

The intensive care unit at the HUG is made up of 300 professionals who manage a 28-bed unit and treat between 1,800 and 2,000 people a year.
Ten proposals for foregoing examinations and care when they are not useful, excessive or disproportionate, not only for patients but also for staff and the environment, were considered. They have been put forward by the Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SSMI) and the HUG, with the support of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS).

The proposals concern sedation, blood transfusion, the correct use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, resuscitation manoeuvres, blood tests, intravenous nutrition, the administration of intravenous fluids, the use of anti-ulcer drugs, the placement of invasive catheters and the administration of oxygen.
Like the healthcare system as a whole, intensive care is a major consumer of energy and producer of CO2. Thanks to the reduction in consumption concomitant with this change in care practices, the Intensive Care Unit is playing an active part in reducing the hospital’s environmental impact, and is in line with the ecological transition programme in the care sector.

Results and improvements
Over the period 2019-2022, very encouraging results have been achieved as a direct result of actions in the areas of blood sampling, blood transfusions and oxygen administration:

- 32% reduction in avoidable blood transfusions ;
  • – 43% less blood drawn per patient, which corresponds to,
between 2019 and 2022, 725 litres of blood, 68,000 tubes and 610 kg of plastic, as well as
160 hours of nursing time per month;
  • – 23% fewer venous catheters inserted;
- 20% fewer episodes of over-oxygenation.
Indicators for other areas of the programme are currently being collected and analysed.


This year, some 500 entries from hospitals and healthcare organisations in 43 different countries were judged. A panel of 40 experts from around the world selected 69 finalists who were shortlisted for awards in seven separate categories.
The “Smarter medicine in intensive care” project was awarded second prize in the quality of care and patient safety category.
The University Hospitals of Geneva are actively committed to more efficient and sustainable medical practices, while offering high-quality care to patients. It was the first partner hospital of Smarter Medicine Switzerland.


Source: HUG Press Release

📸 From left to right: Dr Filipo Boroli, Annie-Claude Paubel, Audrey Prestini, Zilfi Koyluk, Frank Dumoulin, Bertrand Levrat. © HUG – Dr Filippo Boroli.