Evidence-based strategies to prevent infection
Hygiene is a daily challenge for every hospital and is essential for outpatient and inpatient care. Infection prevention – from planning and implementation to regular monitoring – therefore plays a central role in hospital quality assurance. The primary goal is to keep the number of infections as low as possible to ensure maximum patient safety.
The hygiene management of the hospital is based on the Infection Protection Act, which is published by the Robert Koch Institute for the whole of Germany and is constantly updated, and hospital hygiene and infection prevention guidelines. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Microbiology and Hospital Hygiene Unit to create the necessary organizational and structural requirements for employees to perceive and implement all infection prevention and control measures. These include, for example, measures to interrupt chains of infections (such as hand hygiene, isolation and disinfection measures), surveillance, proper reprocessing of medicinal products, or the controlled and adequate use of perioperative and therapeutic antibiotics.
Ensuring hygiene standards by the hygiene team
The qualified hygiene experts of the hygiene team are not only the point of contact, but also ensure compliance with hygiene-related business processes, as consultants on all issues related to infection prevention for their colleagues working in medicine, nursing and all other professions. Among other things, they inspect entire hospital sites, create hygiene documents, train employees and log any infections.
The team also includes a hygiene technician responsible for maintaining hygienic standards for buildings and equipment. In the departments themselves, physicians and nurses responsible for hygiene ensure that hygiene standards are consistently applied in daily clinical practice: These are the link and contact between the service (or functional areas) and the professional hygiene team.
The hygiene commission, which consists of senior hospital staff, doctors responsible for hygiene and the hygiene team, acts as the supervisory body. Measures, standards and working instructions for hospital hygiene are discussed and defined at regular meetings.