HELIOS Hospital Duisburg has adopted many more measures to ensure that hygiene standards will continue their steady improvement. The hospital participates in data collection programs organized by a national center and operates an in-house data bank for pathogens, both of which help to pinpoint areas to implement or improve hygiene measures. All hospital wards are better targeting the placement of disinfectants. There is also a standard range of products and techniques for cleansing patients of bacteria. Every specialist department has doctors and nurses responsible for hygiene. An online training module for continuously updating hygiene training and practices has been launched.

“In addition,” said Dr. Pausner, “we flag patients with multiresistant pathogens much more visibly, both in their electronic file and also directly at their bed.” Doctors and their teams regularly update other employees via the intranet and, in acute cases, proceed promptly to the ward. Other hospital staff can make frequent use of the information and share it with colleagues, which helps maintain a focus on hygiene and infection prevention. Constant increased awareness of hygiene issues by hospital staff has probably been the most important and beneficial lesson to have come out of the difficult days of summer 2013, said Dr. Raphael.