In recent years, hospitals in Denmark have sharpened their focus on hygiene. A few years ago, the regional hospital in Horsens was called an “innovative hospital”. Here they gave battle to unwanted bacteria.
Each year approx. three thousand people in Denmark die from an infection they got in the hospital. This figure is 18 times higher than the number of people who die in traffic. A regional hospital in the Danish town of Horsens is trying to change that.
Fight against dangerous bacteria
Welcome to the long corridors in the basement of the hospital where the tour begins. The hospital’s maintenance staff work here to keep the day-to-day work running smoothly. Behind two doors is the hospital’s washing tunnel, an advanced automatic washing system that cleans everything from the bed to the ceiling of the sheets in the operating rooms. The washing tunnel is just one of the many initiatives the regional hospital is taking to improve hygiene.
After 17 years in the cleaning industry in hospitals and abattoirs, Søren Møller became the head of service at the regional hospital in Horsens, where he has worked for the past 21 years. He decided to purchase a washing tunnel in 2015.
“It all started with setting up the hand wash system and it was all set. When we hung the bed, it became clear that manual washing could not be done satisfactorily, and we started thinking about machines,” says Søren Möller and continues:
“We announced a tender in which we indicated the requirements for the amount of water, soap, electricity and washing time based on 15,000 washes per year. We compared the different results and chose the most significant one. We are excited about the opportunities that are opening up and many other regions and hospitals have since come to see the washing tunnel.”
High demands on the ability to wash
When Søren Møller started researching the market, he was only looking for bed cleaners. But it soon became clear to him that the new machine could be useful in many other areas. It was then that the hospital decided to invest in another machine in line with the expansion of the hospital.
“The focus is on making future aids and materials machine washable because it makes them a lot cleaner. The machine cleans many things that were previously uncleaned or cleaned by hand. Today we are washing a few things in the wash tunnel, which will be developed when the other machine is operational.’
The beds at the regional hospital in Horsens are equipped with drive systems from LINAK so that they can be adjusted to the needs of each patient. Other aids are also equipped with such systems, and since these aids are built into the washing tunnel, more requirements are placed on the future solutions chosen by the hospital, emphasizes Søren Möller.
“It’s an absolute must for LINAK to think through the washability of the systems. We would not buy beds and aids on which patients are placed if they could not be washed. All items on the bed must be suitable for washing in the washing tunnel; otherwise it won’t work. Previously, the bed was washed by hand, but it was not easy to achieve a satisfactory result. So, from a hygiene point of view, if our equipment can be washed in a washing tunnel, it is a big advantage,” he says and elaborates:
“It is a legal requirement that hygiene is in order. We operate according to patient safety in the hospital, where considerable attention is paid to not passing on avoidable infections to patients. We also follow the National Infectious Hygiene Guidelines of the Danish Research Institute at the Ministry of Health of Denmark (Statens Serum Institut). For example, we check 250 rooms four times a year according to INSTA800, the common Nordic standard for measuring cleaning quality. This helps us ensure that the cleanup goes smoothly.”
Greater focus on improving hygiene
But Søren Möller not only sees significant hygienic benefits in cleaning beds and other accessories. At the hospital in Horsens, cleaning is carefully delegated to different areas of responsibility among the maintenance and medical staff. This requires both parties to be constantly aware of who is responsible for what. This helps to ensure that everything is handled satisfactorily and that the service staff is managed intelligently.
The main difference that Søren Møller has noticed over the last ten years is the increased focus on improving hygiene in hospitals. “Today, when making a purchase decision, I always keep in mind whether things can be cleaned. We need to be able to effectively clean all the nooks and crannies. Otherwise, they are not suitable for hospital use,” concludes Søren Möller.
Possibility of washing in LINAK
As a developer and manufacturer of world-class electric drive systems for hospital applications, LINAK is committed to the fight to help hospitals improve hygiene.
Naturally, LINAK drive solutions comply with all international norms and standards of cleanliness. However, some of our products meet even higher standards because we test much more than the 2017 standard requires.