Case story

Suitable for washing tunnels with DURA™

Hygiene is becoming increasingly important, especially in times of Covid19. But it is not only the Coronavirus that is pushing us to act.

The risk of multi-resistant hospital germs also requires more attention. Thorough washing and cleaning are the foundation of every hygienic concept. This also applies to hospital beds.

Modern and large hospitals, such as Hospital Sønderjylland in Aabenraa in the southern part of Denmark, providing medical care for over 220,000 people in the area, use modern washing tunnels to clean hospital beds. The mattress and bed frame are separated and cleaned in separate washing tunnels. Wheelchairs - and other medical products that permit it - are also cleaned in washing tunnels. Exceptions are special obesity beds and patient lifts that do not fit the tunnel due to their size.

Washing tunnel at a Hospital in Aabenraa

The process is fully automatic and takes a few minutes. Compared to manual cleaning, where a bed takes approximately 25 minutes to wash, time savings are considerable. In the washing tunnel, the procedure is completed in 10 minutes and allows more beds to be cleaned by the same staff. This means that the hospital is also prepared for higher capacities in the future. This is not only faster, but also more ergonomic. Thanks to a special mechanism, the mattresses are not lifted by hand but fed semi-automatically into the washing tunnel.

Currently about 100 beds are washed in the tunnel per day. The hospital has 340 beds which are washed 40 times a year on average in the washing tunnel. This means that the beds and built-in LINAK® actuators must be capable of withstanding a lot of high-pressure washes and harsh chemicals over their lifetime. The washing plant has now been in operation since January and the results are positive, with no bed malfunctions even after multiple washes.

A total of 480 new beds were bought by the hospital. 340 of these remained in the main complex at the hospital in Aabenraa, 130 beds are used at the hospital in Sønderborg and 10 in Tønder. All beds meet the highest washability requirements.

The new LINAK washability standard, DURA, is five times higher than required by the official IEC60601 standard and raises the bar for extended washability. In the generally applicable standard, IEC60601, components must be guaranteed to withstand 50 washing cycles. Assuming a bed is washed between 40 and 50 times a year, the problem quickly becomes clear: After just one year, the bed would no longer be covered by warranty in the event of damage. The DURA washability standard allows at least 250 washes, a major advantage over products from other actuator manufacturers - and not only actuators meet the new DURA standard, but also hand controls and control units.

The hospital in Aabenraa is particularly future-oriented. Driverless transport systems drive through the aisles providing Corona information via loudspeakers. Equipped with disinfectant dispensers, these robots even play children's songs on the children's wards, prompting patients to wash their hands. Further processes are to be automated in the future.

There are many visions about how robotics could optimise workflows. Service processes will also be optimised: A barcode could be used by the service technician to scan the bed annually, read out the wash cycles and document the condition of the actuator technology. Many colleagues from other hospitals are already coming to Aabenraa to learn about the new processes and techniques. As a next step, the remaining beds will also be replaced by modern hospital beds meeting the higher DURA standard.

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