Milestone reached: Participants and project managers met for the final event in Rosendahl.
Careful hand hygiene plays a key role in preventing infectious diseases. German and Dutch experts from science and health industries are working together on the development of innovative solutions for infection prevention within the framework of the cross-border and cross-sectoral EU INTERREG VA-funded health-i-care project.
The focus of this German-Dutch joint project is on improving hygiene behavior in retirement and nursing homes. In community facilities in particular, pathogenic pathogens have an easy time getting from “A to B” and causing infections.
Together with Prof. Dr. Karsten Becker and his team from the Institute for Medical Microbiology at the Westphalian Wilhelms University Münster (WWU) as well as the team around Prof. Dr. Andreas Voss from the Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital in Nijmegen, OPHARDT hygiene is working on this ambitious project.
In another project together with Prof. Becker and with the support of the Institute for Educational Sciences of the WWU, a comprehensive concept for improving hand hygiene and infection awareness in children is being researched. This will be accomplished with the appropriate knowledge transfer and motivational, child-friendly hygiene dispensers that support the hand hygiene of primary school children.
Finalization of German nursing home project at the end of 2018
The nursing home in Rosendahl-Osterwick belonging to the Foundation for Saints Fabian and Sebastian took part in the project on the German side. At the end of 2018 the project was officially finished. The project lasted several months and included the introduction of “intelligent” disinfectant dispensers which continuously registered hygiene behavior, as well as a six-month intervention phase. On the basis of the data collected, targeted hygiene training courses were conducted and the hand hygiene behavior was reported back to the nursing home staff at regular intervals.
Overall the measures implemented were successful. Awareness of hand hygiene among nursing staff was raised. As part of the closing event in the participating nursing home, nursing home staff, Prof. Dr. Karsten Becker, Ms. Ivona Tolic, the medical doctoral student supervising the project and consortium leader Dr. Siegfried Steltenkamp, met to review the project and the results. The importance of thorough hand hygiene was also presented and discussed, especially in the age of multi-resistant pathogens, all based on the local situation. The necessity of hand hygiene should also be adopted for the future. To this end, all participants took part to commemorate this with a handprint on the door of a large hygiene dispenser at the entrance to the care facility. It will serve to remind them of the project and motivate them to disinfect their hands in the long term.
Both the nursing home project on the Dutch side and the primary school project will be continued in 2019 and completed by the end of the project.