Bat-Erdene IderBat-Erdene Ider is currently working as Director for Quality and Safety of InterMed Hospital. Bat-Erdene Ider is currently working as Director for Quality and Safety of InterMed Hospital.  His achievements to date (and those likely in the future given his commitment and career progression) represent a very high development impact outcome from an Australia Awardee.

Prior to studying in Australia, Bat-Erdene was employed at the Mongolian Ministry of Health (MoH), where he was responsible for developing and revising national infection control policies. On return, he took up a position with InterMed – a private-sector hospital management organisation.

Although infection prevention is considered a priority by the GoM, there are few people in Mongolia with the necessary technical knowledge and experience. While Health Inspectors and Hygienists are usually responsible for infection control and prevention, they have limited technical knowledge about applying infection prevention standards and unfortunately, the country’s medical universities do not train and prepare properly qualified specialists in this area. 

As InterMed’s Director for Quality and Safety, he oversees quality, safety and risk management programs and processes, infection control programs, local and international accreditation, contract management and relationships with the Government.

On return to Mongolia in 2012, Bat-Erdene used his knowledge and skills to ensure that from the early stages of planning and construction of the hospital, infection prevention processes and facilities were incorporated. To do this, he worked with a joint team of Austrian and German experts to build infection prevention requirements into all aspects of construction.

InterMed, which opened in 2013, is an 80-bed, greenfields general hospital. It is the first in Mongolia, with programs implemented to international best practice, incorporating Joint Commission International and World Health Organisation (WHO) universal patient safety and infection control standards. InterMed’s services to Mongolian citizens include: an outpatient department; an inpatient department covering surgery, internal medicine, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology; emergency and medical evacuation; and a health screening department.

At the same time he took up his position with InterMed, Bat-Erdene was offered the position of Chief Epidemiologist (CE)  with the MoH, a role which could have been fulfilled while working at InterMed. Although honoured to be offered such an important position, he declined it because of the demands of his work at InterMed.
Since starting with InterMed, Bat-Erdene has set up infection prevention structures and is responsible for preventing and, if necessary, managing the spread of infections such as Golden Staph. These procedures and knowledge are crucial in a health-sector facing national and global challenges created by increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Bat-Erdene has developed over 50 policies at InterMed, many of which involve differentiating between infection prevention and control. While there is no country or

environment without bacteria, his aim is to keep them at benchmark levels. As an Australian Award graduate, he finds the knowledge and research from his doctoral studies help to ensure the policies and guidelines he develops are current and meet international standards.

Bat-Erdene firmly believes his Award qualification has “changed his future”. He has become professionally stronger and much more confident, particularly as he is acknowledged as Mongolia’s leading expert in the areas of hospital infection prevention and control systems. The MoH values his expertise and regularly seeks his opinions and recommendations on the government’s national health policy.

While Mongolia currently sits below the international benchmark for infection control, it is improving its capacity though Asia Development Bank and WHO programs targeting Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAI). As he is the only local expert in HAI, Bat-Erdene is asked to advise the MoH and other Mongolian hospitals. He is conscious that InterMed hospital is the leader in the health sector for hospital infection safety and security and wants to ensure it maintains that reputation and plays a leading role in research in the area.

He is also aware of the shortage of medical professionals in infection control, both in Mongolia and elsewhere. This is why Bat-Erdene feels he should contribute to expanding his colleagues’ knowledge and so he is academic supervisor and mentor for three PhD students to help them meet the challenges of effective research: “It’s a satisfying task, but it’s demanding.”

Bat-Erdene maintains professional contacts with his two Australia Award PhD supervisors from the University of Queensland, one of whom has since moved to the Australian National University (ANU) as Dean and Director of the Research School of Population Health. Bat-Erdene regularly contacts them for technical advice, particularly because of the knowledge gap in HAI between Asian and Western countries. In discussions with these colleagues, collaborative project and research activities in HAI have been proposed, but they are yet to attract support from the Mongolian health sector.

With increasing awareness from the Mongolian health sector about the importance of the issue, and if he can find time in his schedule, Bat-Erdene hopes to promote better research linkages between Australia and Mongolia in infection prevention.

International Networking

Networking and professional communications have improved significantly in Bat-Erdene’s area of expertise. Previously infection policies focused on control rather than prevention. Previously, whenever infection occurred, authorities would establish an emergency response to halt the infection through immediate control measures. As a result of the changed approach to prevention, the reported prevalence of HAI in Mongolia has reduced 200-300 times. It is now close to the international average of about 10%. To promote better HAI practices in Mongolia, Bat-Erdene encouraged Mongolian hospitals to join the International surveillance Association (INICC) and three hospitals have done so. Doctors at these hospitals can directly connect and report to INICC through its website.

Additional information