Every fourth hospital ignores hygiene recommendations

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A recently in Germany published hygiene investigation is causing excitement. What’s about the situation in Austria. Carola Timmel has inquired.

Every year, 800.000 people in Germany are infected with dangerous hospital germs – the reason therefore are serious deficiencies with regard to hygiene. Investigations by the ARD-magazine Plusminus and the Research Center Correctiv show that every fourth hospital is dealing carelessly with this issue. According to the investigation many hospitals and clinics properly are ignoring the legal requirements (1 hygienist, 1 hygiene professional in hospitals more than 400 beds) of the Minister of Health, Hermann Gröhe, who explains the missed targets by the fact that due to the high demand there are not sufficient hygiene professionals available.

In Austria “the compliance with legal regulations is examined regularly by medical officers”, says DDr. Reinhild Strauß from from the Austrian ministry of health. And concerning the hygiene professionals: “According to the law, at least one hygiene professional has to be appointed in the in bed-leading hospitals to support the hygienist. No specific figures with regard to hygienic personnel per bed number are defined. In the course of the evaluation of the quality standard hospital hygiene the needed personnel capacities will be examined.”

Plusminus and Correctiv have now created a freely accessible database where interested people can find information whether a hospital adheres the hygiene standards. By the way – a similar system also exists in Switzerland. Under www.spitalfinder.ch patients can easily recall data regarding the quality situation of a hospital. In Austria there is no corresponding application.

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Carola Timmel

Carola Timmel is journalist for print and radio and professional speaker. Her focus lies on the topic Medicine & Health.

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