At the Institute for Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology in Freiburg, Germany, we met a true hand hygiene pioneer: Prof. Franz Daschner. We talked to him about the introduction of the Euro bottle almost 50 years ago and its advantages for hospital hygiene today.
Markus Theißen (MT): Prof. Dr. Franz Daschner, in the 1970s you played a decisive role in developing the standardized Euro bottle format for soap and hand disinfectant dispensers in close collaboration with OPHARDT Hygiene. What were the reasons for the introduction of the Euro bottle and the Euro dispenser back then?
Prof. Franz Daschner (PFD): Quite simply: Before the Euro bottle existed, hospitals carried different dispensers from different manufacturers with different bottles. This was a total mess, especially when it came to maintaining and filling the disinfectant bottles—but also when it came to pricing, of course. The chemical manufacturers could dictate the price of the hand disinfectant and soap as long as their dispenser system was used in the hospital.
MT: Why is the open euro-bottle format all the more important for clinics and hospitals today, in light of the current coronavirus pandemic?
PFD: As a hygienist, I can’t imagine anything better—especially during the COVID-19 pandemic—than a standardized disinfectant dispenser that can hold the products of different manufacturers. At the moment you have to buy a lot of hand disinfectants and there was even a shortage of hand hygiene products at the beginning of the pandemic. It is all the more crucial that a dispenser format is available that is compatible with the bottles of all manufacturers.
MT: The KRINKO (Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention) guideline from 2016 clearly recommends the use of an open dispenser system. What do you say to medical institutions that still rely on manufacturers proprietary disinfectant dispensers?
PFD: Clinics or procurement departments that buy a hygiene dispenser that only fits a hand disinfectant from a specific company are behind the times. It goes without saying that, from an economic perspective alone, an open system such as the Euro dispenser is absolutely necessary.