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German hospitals advised to change risk culture to improve hygiene
Hospitals in Germany have been urged to change their risk culture in order to improve hygiene prevention standards at the Hospital Epidemiology 2011 MCC conference held in Cologne
Speaking at the conference, Dr. Mohlmann, from strategy and managerial consultancy, McKinsey, said: "A risk and safety culture, in comparison to other industries, has not yet been established."
Dr. Klaus- Dieter Zastrow, chief doctor at Vivantes hospital, Berlin and spokesperson for the German Society for Hospital Hygiene supported this statement believing that standards should be implemented through a hospital hierarchy. Dr Zastrow believes that managers and senior staff members should act as role models: “In health we have a top-down problem. We have to implement it”.
Dr Karl Blum, head of research at the German Hospital Institute (DKI), argued contrary point, stating that the current hospital barometer of the DKI shows promising figures, indicating that 90 per cent of all hospitals have one or more physicians that are responsible for hygiene monitoring
He also advised that 62.1 per cent take part in the initiated programme "Operation Clean Hands" which enforces the practice of hand hygiene within hospital environments.
Working under the direction of the patient flow team and now implemented as part of a daily routine, the rapid response team's sole purpose is to implement a deep clean programme using HPV technology.
Empirical evidence from the "Helping Hands" study, carried out in the Netherlands and reported by AQUA-Institute Professor Joachim Szecsenyi, predicted that implementation of a system was not enough to ensure that hand hygiene standards were kept. Although the two groups were given different hand disinfection measures, secondary factors such as social influence and the coaching of team leaders, who were seen as role models, affected how successful each system became.
Throughout Europe studies have shown that systems need to be enforced and training kept up to date in order for there to be a significant drop in Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) such as MRSA and C-Difficile.
To read more on this story, adapted from Ärzte Zeitung, 26.01.2011, please click here.

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