'Clean dispensers' campaign: Hand hygiene without the risk of cross-contamination

New automatic reprocessing system for soap and disinfectant dispensers

Gütersloh, (PresseBox) - Effective hand hygiene practised by healthcare staff, patients and visitors to hospitals is able to prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses and fungi. The disinfection of hands is sufficient to avoid cross-contamination - but only if dispensers for soaps, disinfectants and skincare products are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Such wall-mounted devices are in use for many years and are generally only disinfected by wiping the outside. All the more reason for Ophardt Hygiene, Miele Professional and Merz Hygiene to join forces to launch their 'Clean Dispensers' campaign, a finely tuned reprocessing system allowing 12 dispensers to be washed and disinfected in a machine-based process lasting only 45 minutes, guaranteeing ample margins of safety.

This system extends successful awareness campaigns educating people to wash and disinfect their hands: Thanks to this new reprocessing method, the interior of containers and the stainless-steel pump - areas not reached by wipe disinfection - are hygienically cleaned. The new system, developed jointly by leading manufacturers in their respective fields of dispenser production, machine-based cleaning systems and chemical products ensures the safe reprocessing of the entire dispenser - both inside and out.

The system consists of a washer-disinfector from Miele and a new load carrier with connections for the pumps and housings. The newly developed system involves an intensive pre-wash cycle using cold water followed by a main wash at 55°C during which a pH-neutral detergent from Merz Hygiene is dispensed. Alongside thorough but gentle cleaning of the high-quality aluminium housing, the single biggest challenge faced in the process is coping with high-level foaming caused by soap residue in the containers. To combat this problem, a newly developed foam inhibitor is dispensed in the main wash cycle. The disinfection stage achieves an A0 value of 60. The final drying phase ensures the complete drying of the internal channels in the stainless-steel pump. An A0 value of 60 is fully compliant with the current recommendation from the German Association for Hospital Hygiene affiliated to the Robert Koch Institute (DGKH) issued at the end of 2011: This recommendation calls for the machine-based and thermal reprocessing of dispensers and their pumps.

Trials conducted by Miele, Merz and Ophardt Hygiene on the new system were passed with flying colours. This approach ensures that there is no material degradation, even when entire dispensers are reprocessed regularly every six months. This systematic approach even covers older model series and dispensers with a metal housing in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Comprehensive testing has shown that dispensers can be subjected to machine-based reprocessing over a period of up to 20 years without impairing either their quality or functionality.

This system has undergone successful field trials at four hospitals in southern Germany since 2011. During this period, more than 9000 dispensers together with their pumps were washed and disinfected.

Merz Hygiene company profile: Merz Hygiene specialises in the development, production and marketing of innovative and practical product and service concepts revolving around infection control in hospitals, surgeries and laboratories. The Merz Hygiene range comprises products for disinfection, cleaning and care in the medical field. These include products for manual and machine-based instrument reprocessing, surface cleaning and disinfection, skincare and hand disinfection products, specially formulated products for the dental field as well as innovative dispensing technology. With its new CLEAN&CARE concept, Merz Hygiene has adopted a holistic approach, turning its attention to CSSD processes as a whole - from pre-cleaning through to sterilisation. By offering innovative products and services, CLEAN&CARE makes an important contribution towards maintaining values and increasing safety margins in the reprocessing of medical devices.

Merz Pharmaceuticals company profile: Merz is engaged in research and the development and marketing of innovative pharmaceuticals and medical products used in neurology, clinical dermatology, aesthetic medicine and in treating metabolic disorders. Merz counts among the leaders in research into Alzheimer's disease. Memantine, the first in a novel class of medications acting on the glutamateric system to treat modest to severe cases of dementia, is the second most frequently prescribed anti-dementia drug. Merz also launched the first botulinum toxin which is free from complex proteins for the treatment of neurological apraxia. A further field of Merz excellence is clinical and aesthetic dermatology. Merz Aesthetics offers a finely tuned portfolio of products for minimally invasive treatment. With its well-established tetesept® and Merz Spezial® brands, Merz Consumer Care counts among the leading producers of self-medication products, dietary supplements and skincare products in the German-speaking world. The Merz Pharma group has 2391 employees worldwide (2131 in previous year). In the 2010/11 fiscal year, the company generated a turnover of EUR 780.4 m (EUR 649.6 m in previous year).

Ophardt Hygiene company profile: The Ophardt Hygiene group of companies develops, manufactures and markets an entire portfolio of functional dispensers and dispensing systems with a view to upholding the highest of hygiene standards in the medical, pharmaceutical and food processing fields as well as dispensers for use in public wash-rooms and sanitary applications. More than 300 employees at 7 locations worldwide are deployed with great success in implementing the corporate credo of 'making the world a more hygienic place'.

Miele & Cie. KG

Miele is the world leader in the field of premium domestic appliances including cooking, baking and steam-cooking appliances, refrigeration products, coffee makers, dishwashers and laundry and floorcare products. This line-up is augmented by dishwashers, washer-extractors and tumble dryers for commercial use as well as washer-disinfectors and sterilisers for use in medical and laboratory applications (Miele Professional). The company, founded in 1899, has 8 production plants in Germany and one plant each in Austria, the Czech Republic, China and Romania. 2011/12 turnover amounted to approx. EUR 3.04 bn with sales outside Germany accounting for 70%. Miele is represented with its own sales subsidiaries and via importers in almost 100 countries. The Miele company, now in the fourth generation of family ownership, employs a workforce of oven 16,700 with two-thirds in Germany. The company headquarters are located in Gütersloh/Westphalia, Germany.

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