Automated Cleaning – Improving NHS Efficiency

Under the objectives drawn up by the HIP scheme to improve hospitals and health infrastructure, sustainability and infection prevention are two of the key areas that underpin all planning.

With new hospitals currently under construction across the UK, one way in which they can improve outcomes in both is to increase efficiency by embracing the latest innovations in healthcare equipment and technology.

An example of this is implementing automated and validated cleaning processes such as the Bed Washing System, which are common place around Europe.

Herlev Hospital was the first hospital in the world to fully automate this process, using the Bed Washing System to enable the storing, cleaning and disinfection of their hospital beds.

This blog looks at how the inclusion of a Bed Washing System has enhanced efficiency at the hospital, helping lower costs and energy wastage, to provide a template for hospitals in the UK to learn from.

Automated Cleaning Bed Washing System output
The Bed Washing System offers a solution to enhance efficiency in NHS hospitals.

Background to Herlev Hospital

Prior to the construction of a new hospital wing in 2014, Herlev Hospital went through a detailed process to identify the most efficient way of cleaning their beds, with a particular focus on sustainability and infection prevention.

Their previous method of cleaning was by hand, taking around 15 minutes to clean one hospital bed and mattress. With an 800-bed hospital, they needed a quicker and more efficient system in place that could clean around 300 beds per day.

Not only did the new process need to reduce the time it took to clean a bed and mattress, it also needed to be environmentally friendly, helping to meet Herlev’s goals for sustainability.

There was also a requirement for a storage area to store cleaned beds before use, including a ‘fast lane’ that bypassed the storage process if beds needed to be cleaned urgently.

Herlev Hospital
Herlev Hospital made history by becoming the first hospital in the world to fully automate the storing, cleaning and disinfection of their hospital beds.

Bed Washing System

To meet their goals for infection prevention and sustainability, Herlev Hospital opted to install two Bed Washing Systems.

This innovative technology involves precision robots and high-temperature steam to provide a consistent and controlled quality of thermal disinfection.

Without the need to use chemicals or detergents, the Bed Washing System produces steam at high temperature (minimum 165°C) and high pressure (7 bar) to provide unrivalled cleaning power.

As a result, hospital beds can be washed, dried, and ready for patient use in just 6 minutes, with no manual cleaning required.

Bed Washing System Moving Process
The Bed Washing System uses precision robots and high-temperature steam to provide a consistent and controlled quality of thermal disinfection.

Bed Washing System Brochure

Discover more about the benefits of the Bed Washing System by reading our free brochure!

Click here to view our brochure.

Benefits of Automated Cleaning at Herlev Hospital

By including two Bed Washing Systems into their cleaning process for hospital beds, Helev Hospital has seen a huge increase in efficiency.

Here are a couple of the main benefits that the system has brought:

  • Cleans and disinfects 300 beds per day
  • Hospital has a 15 minute bed turnaround including cleaning, disinfection and drying
  • Reduced bed maintenance staff by 20%, reducing costs and ensuring nursing staff concentrate on patient-centred care
  • Able to store 130 clean beds and mattresses in bespoke storage area
  • ‘Fast lane’ process included, enabling beds that need urgent cleaning to be fast tracked, bypassing the waiting area so they are cleaned immediately

With the additions of a storage area and ‘fast lane’ to support two Bed Washing Systems, Herlev Hospital are now the first hospital in the world to fully automate their bed washing process.

Watch the video below to see how the Bed Washing System is improving efficiency for Herlev Hospital.

Time For A Change

The Coronavirus pandemic has shed new light on the need for tighter infection prevention, especially in relation to cleaning medical equipment.

Not only do the current manual processes take a lot of time, there is also an increased risk of cross-contamination, as staff come into direct contact with each bed when cleaning.

Continuing to rely on manual cleaning is both inefficient and higher risk for patients and staff.

That’s why embracing new automated innovations such as the Bed Washing System is crucial as it delivers a more efficient and cost-effective process, saving precious time for staff to concentrate on patient-centred care.

Bed Washing System Input
Embracing new automated innovations such as the Bed Washing System is crucial as it delivers a more efficient and cost-effective process than manual cleaning.

Click here to read our blog comparing the differences between the manual cleaning and automated cleaning of hospital beds.

Summary

It is clear that effective infection prevention measures and solutions to enhance sustainability are two of the biggest factors when it comes to new hospital builds in the UK.

Using the example of Herlev Hospital, these objectives can be achieved by embracing new technology to improve efficiency.

Not only has the move towards automated cleaning systems increased productivity, it has also enabled the hospital to reduce costs and ensure more time is focused on patient-centred care.

This has all been achieved using technology that puts sustainability at the forefront of its function, using just steam and removing all chemicals from its cleaning process.

Need to learn more about the Bed Washing System’s benefits for infection prevention and sustainability? Get in touch with the Innova team today!