The Nordsjællands Hospital in Denmark has chosen to clean and disinfect the hospital beds and mattresses completely automatically, using steam and precision robots, without chemicals. Project manager Christian Frey from the Facility Management department at the Danish hospital talks about the choice for the Validated Disinfection System (VDS) from Weber Hospital Systems. “Patient safety is becoming increasingly important. When choosing the VDS, the quality of the cleaning and disinfection was paramount.”
Nordsjællands Hospital (North Zealand Hospital) is a large regional hospital in The Capital Region, Denmark. The hospital serves about 378,000 inhabitants in the region around the capital Copenhagen. It employs around 3,900 staff and provides for approximately 662 hospital beds.
Since 2007, the Danish government has been working on the reform of the healthcare landscape. The Danish Super Hospital Program is working on 16 new hospitals for specialised treatment. One of them is the Nyt Hospital Nordsjaelland (New North Zealand Hospital), which is scheduled to open in 2024.
The focus on patient safety and infection prevention is increasing worldwide, partly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For example, last year the WHO again drew attention to the importance of good hand hygiene and control measures for infection prevention. In order to reduce the risk of infections, the basic hygiene in a hospital must first be in order. An important part of this is the approach to cleaning and disinfection processes in a hospital. The cleaner a hospital bed and mattress, the lower the risk of spreading microorganisms and healthcare-related infections.
In the Nordsjællands Hospital, the hospital beds and mattresses were cleaned by hand in a central location in the hospital until a few years ago. But the result of the cleaning and disinfection left something to be desired, Frey acknowledges. “You never get the beds and mattresses as clean manually as with an automated process.”
“Building new hospitals gives opportunities to incorporate digital solutions from the beginning,” as stated in the vision document ‘The Danish Super Hospital Programme’. In anticipation of the higher demands placed by the new hospital, the Nordsjællands Hospital was looking for a solution for automated cleaning and disinfection of hospital beds the hospital could use, so to gain experience before moving. The solution had to be ‘transferrable’ to the new building in the future.
The Danish hospital ended finding the VDS of Weber Hospital Systems. This is a robotic solution for the thermal cleaning and disinfection of hospital beds, mattresses and medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, IV poles and medical carts. The VDS cleans, disinfects and dries the entire bed, mattress or equipment in just six minutes using steam and precision robots, so without the use of chemicals. Mattresses are lifted automatically from the bed in the VDS and cleaned, disinfected and dried all the way around. Thanks to the fully automated process, the quality of the cleaning and disinfection remains guaranteed and therefore validated with every cleaning cycle.
Quality of the process
The Danish hospital was looking for an automated solution for cleaning, disinfecting and drying beds and mattresses. The quality of the process was paramount: the solution had to comply with ISO 15883 standard. The VDS meets this standard and is officially certified by means of the CE MDD via Kiwa. Validated measurements show a reduction of at least log>5 on microorganisms. The VDS always follows the same program, which reproduces and validates the process. This way, the consistent quality of the cleaning and disinfection process is guaranteed with each cleaning cycle.
Versatility and customisation
The Nordsjællands Hospital used to have (standard) OPUS 3 hospital beds, but also special cots and trauma beds. With the relocation, the hospital is gradually purchasing new (more advanced) beds, so-called OPUS 7 beds. Therefore, the automated solution for cleaning and disinfecting the beds had to be versatile: in addition to ‘car wash-proof’ beds, the solution also had to have the capacity to handle smaller children's beds and high-tech beds. In addition, the hospital wanted to be able to process not only beds and mattresses, but also medical equipment, such as IV poles.
Weber Hospital Systems offers customised solutions and special programs for every type of bed and mattress, based on which the precision robots are adjusted. For example, the hospital will retain the option for high-tech IPX4 beds in the future. These cannot be cleaned in traditional bed washing machines, which use a lot of water and chemicals. The VDS is the first and only automated solution in the world that makes it possible to machine clean and disinfect high-tech IPX4 beds.
Not only are chemicals harmful to humans and the environment, but micro-organisms are also becoming increasingly resistant to chemicals. The Nordsjællands Hospital was looking for a solution that does not involve the use of chemicals. The VDS is the only automated solution that does not use chemicals or other chemical additives.
Minimum physical load
Another important condition for the Nordsjællands Hospital was to limit the physical strain placed on the employees. The hospital is committed to providing a healthy working environment. In other automated solutions, employees had to manually lift a heavy mattress from the bed. The hospital was looking for a solution that would minimise the physical strain on employees. Due to the ergonomic design, the VDS can be easily operated by one person. A mattress is lifted automatically from the bed in the VDS and cleaned, disinfected and dried all the way around. This reduces the physical burden on employees to zero.
Sustainable in use
Finally, the hospital was looking for a solution that would be sustainable in use. The focus was not primarily on the lowest investment price (capex), but also on lifetime consumption (opex). Thanks to the longer lifespan of the beds and the reduction in the workload, project manager Christian Frey expects the investment in the VDS to ultimately pay for itself: not only because there are fewer repairs and the beds last longer, but also because the workload and absenteeism due to illness among the staff is reduced as a result of the reduction in the physical workload.
In 2024, the VDS moves to the New North Zealand Hospital, one of the 16 top Danish hospitals of the future.
At Weber Hospital Systems, we have a clear goal in mind: we want to improve the health of patients by ensuring the highest standard of hygiene in a sustainable way. Would you like to know more about our Validated Disinfection System? We will be happy to advise you. Contact us.