Thanks to innovative bracket solutions, the Evangelical Forest Hospital in Berlin-Spandau, Germany (Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau; EWK) expands its dispenser infrastructure to meet the highest hygiene standards in the treatment of newborns.
Thorough hand hygiene is an essential infection prevention measure, especially critical in the medical care of premature and newborn babies who have not yet formed resilient immune systems. Dispenser infrastructure that supports hand hygiene at the point-of-care is therefore vital to meeting infection prevention requirements in neonatology.
The Evangelical Forest Hospital in Berlin-Spandau, Germany (Evangelisches Waldkrankenhaus Spandau; EWK) has recently expanded its comprehensive hygiene concept with touchless ingo-man® plus dispensers mounted directly on incubators in the neonatology ward. Using an individually developed holding solution, these touchless dispensers enable medical staff to disinfect their hands directly at the point-of-care, enabling an optimized, more convenient workflow for doctors and nurses. In addition, this expanded infrastructure ensures compliance with current recommendations of the Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention at the Robert Koch Institute (KRINKO). According to KRINKO guidelines, dispensers must be placed directly next to patient beds.
The EWK treats an average of 400 patients per year in the eight rooms that form the neonatology department. Following the installation of the bedside dispensers, there was a clear improvement in hand hygiene compliance, demonstrated by increased consumption of hand disinfectant and compliance monitoring.
A custom hygiene solution directly at the point-of-care
For the hygiene department and neonatology team at the EWK, it was an important prerequisite to have touchless dispensers that provided quiet dosing of hand disinfectant. Premature babies, in particular, are extremely sensitive to noise and movement. Exposure to unfavourable influences of noise and movement can impact newborn development. With these criteria in mind, hygiene specialists at the EWK were able to narrow down the choice of suitable dispenser systems early on in the selection process.
According to Andrea Sack, Hygiene Specialist at the EWK, the manufacturer-independent Euro bottle standard also played a decisive role in the choice of hand sanitizer dispensers. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded once again how important the free choice of filling product and the open dispenser format are when there are bottlenecks in supply. When hospitals experienced delays in acquiring hand disinfectants from manufacturers, staff were able to produce disinfectants in-house and reprocess dispenser bottles for use, in line with hygiene regulations.
In order to affix the automatic dispensers to the incubators, the EWK worked in close cooperation with OPHARDT Hygiene. Holding solutions are one of the many accessories designed by our in-house product development team. In this case, the team focused on design considerations that allowed them to build a solution to mount the dispenser on a tubular frame and to fix a drip tray onto the holder as well. As sanitizer is dispensed generously, especially in hygiene-sensitive wards, the drip tray provides effective protection to stop product from dripping onto the floor. Dispensing with the drip tray was a necessity for Hygiene Specialists Andrea Sack and Monika Minge.
High-quality hand hygiene
The new hand hygiene compliance solution has so far been installed on 15 incubators and five warming beds in the academic teaching hospital of the Berlin Charité. In the course of further investments, the newly acquired warming beds will also be equipped with these dispensers in the future.
Regarding overall infrastructure, the EWK is further optimizing its quality standards through the point-of-care, near-bed availability of disinfectant dispensers in 500 ml Euro bottle format. Through strengthened dispenser infrastructure, the EWK continues to live up to its status as a level 1 perinatal centre in terms of hygiene.