OPHARDT Hygiene develops innovative solutions for medical hand hygiene to optimize infection prevention and improve patient care in hospitals. We spoke with Peter Ickert and Albrecht Lang about the current developments of the OPHARDT Hygiene Monitoring System® (OHMS) and the ingo-man SmartNose.
Markus Theißen: Mr. Lang, what news can you share with us regarding the smart sanitizer dispensers from OPHARDT?
Albrecht Lang (Director New Technologies): The manual and touchless ingo-man® smart e-pro sanitizer dispensers have already been on the market for approximately ten years. These dispensers allow hygiene professionals to evaluate hand hygiene behaviour by recording time-stamped data on dispenser location, as well as amount of product dispensed. The manual dispenser system had the added benefit that the energy needed to transfer usage data is generated each time the operating lever was pressed, eliminating the need for an additional power source.
To expand our range of Smart devices, we have added the ingo-man® SmartNose to our product portfolio. The ingo-man® SmartNose is a retrofittable unit that can be installed into existing 500 ml ingo-man® plus dispensers within seconds. This means that following installation of the SmartNose, the dispenser will record its consumption data in connection with time and location.
A central feature of the ingo-man® SmartNose is its feedback LED. The feedback LED visually informs healthcare workers via a green light whether enough sanitizer has been dispensed during hand disinfection. The feedback LED is located on the top of the panel and is therefore clearly visible to users. Next to the feedback LED is an additional red LED that lights up when the built-in battery reaches a critical level.
The ingo-man® SmartNose is based on our new embedded platform and offers us many possibilities for the future. More specifically, we are currently developing an additional version of the SmartNose to be compatible with existing 1000 ml ingo-man® plus dispensers, which will be available beginning January 1, 2021.
Theißen: A lot is happening on the software side as well. What software developments can you share with us?
Lang: Since launching the OHMS software, we have been working in close consultation with clients from the hospital hygiene sector using their feedback to optimize the software. New to the software is a completely revised user interface which displays a clear overview of key hand hygiene data recorded by the smart dispensers on the main dashboard.
Theißen: Mr. Ickert, can you summarize the key advantages of the ingo-man® SmartNose for hospital staff and hygiene departments?
Peter Ickert (Business Segment Manager): From my point of view, the green feedback LED, which gives hospital staff immediate feedback on successful hand disinfection, is one of the key advantages of this product. Other key advantages include the ease with which existing dispensers can be retrofitted, and the intuitive app that enables easy reading and configuration of the device. This is possible thanks to an integrated NFC chip in the SmartNose. In terms of IT security, we adhere to the latest industry standard and use WPA2-Enterprise for data transfer.
As a further benefit, in conjunction with the ingo-man® SmartNose, the OHMS system sends an e-mail to a defined group of people when the product fill level reaches a critical level and should soon be exchanged.
Theißen: Peter, my last question. What are the strengths of the new OHMS software and the compliance dashboard?
Ickert: The compliance dashboard provides hospital staff with a clear overview of hand hygiene compliance over the last weeks or days – depending on the parameters set by hygiene personnel. Hygiene specialists can work in close cooperation with hospital staff in setting target values, ensuring everyone involved in hand hygiene on board.
It is also important to establish that OHMS is based on a group-level measurement of hand hygiene compliance. The software allows a healthcare facility to evaluate compliance data for the hospital as a whole, but also on the different wards and areas within the hospital. By evaluating on a group level, hospital staff can work together to strengthen the team’s resolve to improve hand hygiene compliance.
It is clear that the feedback LED on each dispenser, in addition to hand hygiene compliance data collated by the software and displayed on monitors in wards can have a positive influence on hand hygiene behaviour in healthcare settings.
Theißen: Thank you very much for the interview, Mr. Lang, Mr. Ickert. As we can see, these innovative hardware and software solutions can offer strategic added value for hospital hygiene.