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If we forget about IT environment for a while, medical facilities are perhaps the only place where a clean and healthy environment is absolutely necessary and crucial for the staff and the patients (not in the case of IT environment) admitted there. Thinking about various health hazards caused by unhealthy environment in the hospitals, almost every other nation has come up with their own innovative solutions.
Needless to say, European giant economy, Germany has also surpassed all other nations in this respect. Almost all the hospitals in Germany follow a strict guidelines. Whenever you visit a hospital in any corner of the world, you will find a similar smell of medicines everywhere. Such is not the case in Germany where keeping the hospitals in Germany smell fine (usually smells of disinfectant) has been added as one of the most important points.
Since its foundation in 1870 by Prince Bismarck, Germany has developed a likeliness for hard discipline and cleanliness. They have maintained a high standard in almost all sections of their society and there is little scope for the hospitals to survive this purge.
Moving out of Germany, let us cross the English Channel and visit the hospitals of England. we shall find that since the onset of Industrial Revolution, the English have devoted their entire energy to the rapid development and invention and ignored even the basic standards of life.
Famous Socialist thinker Friedrich Engles once stated that there is no living hell but British factories and hospitals. Perhaps that is the reason why hospitals in England became easy targets of Klebsiella superbug in 2008 through a patient who travelled from India to England. This superbug was almost immune to many antibiotics. They were finally able to control this bug and after begin hit by an invisible enemy, the Britishers finally decided to set guidelines to keep their hospital clean and virus free. Most of their guidelines have been borrowed from the German hospitals.
Hospitals in Germany are nearly immune to MRSA and other super bugs, even though they still happen are usually very small scale and controlled quite easily.
Frankly speaking, pests have created hazard in hospitals around the world but they were not able to create much chaos in German hospitals. They are basically found in wards, patient rooms, water disposal areas, canteens and bathrooms.
Most of the hospitals around the world don't take this problem seriously and believe that by using pesticides, they can remove this problem. But this fact is often forgotten that pesticides also can harm the health of the patients in a negative way.
In order to avoid this potential danger, German medical authorities have not only banned the use of pesticides but also introduced a new technique known as IPM.
IPM is the abbreviated form of Inspection and Preventive Maintenance. Under this system, it is possible to keep the hospitals clean and bug free without potential risk to the health of the patients. Sufficient information and anti-pest/bug tools are provided to the staff and they are taught to use them in a decent manner. The strict enforcement of this system has made German hospitals absolutely free from MRSA and other super bugs.
Explaining further, hospitals in Germany have absolutely different billing method than the rest of the world. You will find fixed rate for every kind of treatment in Germany and other charges are later added according to extra services attained.
The hospitals in Germany have maintained a separate department for cleanliness. For instance, they always maintain a force of employees who are especially given the work to keep the hospitals clean and pest free. It is true that similar services are available in United Kingdom too but they are applied with such strictness as in Germany.
All the German hospitals are given Cleanliness Management Standard Industry Certificates by the home authorities. Receiving this certificate makes sure that hospitals have been able to keep themselves clean since past two years. After two years, a thorough inspection is made to check the standards and a new certificate is issued. This all make sure that the staff wear hygienic clothes and keep medical tools and toilet sanitized. Keeping all these things in mind, if we make German and UK hospital cleanliness comparison, Without any hesitation, we can safely conclude that German hospitals are better in their cleaning standards.
Another thing that personally bothers me very much is the fact that doctors in the UK wear their personal clothing to work, rather than a white coat. Therefore spreading bacteria from their home to patients and reverse. Now I have seen many doctors houses, which we cleaned and it put me off for life. Several houses were that disgusting that we had to call in pest control first before we could clean it. Now if these doctors then come to work with clothing they wore at home and that was not boil washed, then bacteria is bound to spread.
Some people might and others might not agree with me in this topic. Point I am trying to make is that when people go to hospital it is because they want to get better and not ill or even die because of a Superbug that could have been avoided.

I know my article is not 100% perfect and that there probably is some info or facts that I missed :-) I am not trying to have a go at all of the hospital cleaning standards in the UK, but merely annoyed as to why there are superbugs in hospitals, why doctors don't wear hospital clothing, why they have to close whole wards down and why people get ill or even die because of hospital bugs (Legionella, MRSA, Urinary Infections etc)
Not saying the cleaning standard in Germany is perfect but it seems like that these sort of outbreaks are very rare over there. Just because I did not hear it does not mean it does not happen, however I believe it is a very low scale situation over there.



11/18/2012 10:26pm

Interestin points Selen, Before I go on if you check my website you will see that I started my cleaning career in Germany and indeed qualified as Gebaeudereinigungsmeister.
You are incorrect in oner of two statements UK hospitals were up unitl the 70's or so reknown for the standards of hygene, think of Florence Nighingale, read about her.
Hospital cleaning was carried out by own staff and was also part of the nurses role. All was supervised by those fearsome ladies known as Matrons who inspected wards couple of times a day.
Then to save money the cleaning was outsourced, unfortunately in most cases the budgert does not allow proper cleaning, as the staff are not hospital staff then ward managers cannot speak to them direct. Nursing staff are so short staffed they cannot be expected to carry ourt any cleaning roles.
The problem in the UK is caused by lack of money, and I'm sorry to say but when I was working in the industry in Germany there were similar problems there, perhaps cleaning in medical facilities is no longer outsourced or budgets have been increased. Following quote from 2005
In the last few years, a dramatic increase of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) detection in German hospitals can be recognized.
Report by Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, Medical School Hannover, Carl-Neuberg-Street 1, 30625 Hannover, Germany. chaberny.iris@mh-hannover.d
For the full report http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16325553.
Regards

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Peter Harper
11/19/2012 3:56am

I'd just like to make a comment about one of the points you have raised in response to Selen's very interesting comparison.
You say that the ward managers can't speak to the cleaning staff direct, as a contract manager looking after the cleaning in a hospital I encourage my staff to fully integrate into the wards in which they are working. I also talk to the wards managers and let them know that on day to day cleaning issues they have my permission & full support to talk to my staff directly on any cleaning matter they are not satisfied with. this works very well as the domestics on the whole will listen to the clinical staff and do what has been asked, if they don't then the ward managers will come to me and I will deal with the issues in a more formal matter.
I have stayed in hospitals in both countries and found the German ones to be very, well for the want of a better word "Clinical" the care you got was impersonal compared to the care you receive over here. I enjoyed (if that is the right word) my stays in both countries hospitals. I would agree though that the German hospital appeared cleaner.

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11/19/2012 12:46am

Hi
I knew my article was not 100% perfect and that there had to be something I missed :-)
I am not trying to have a go at all of the hospital cleaning standards in the UK, but merely annoyed as to why there are Superbugs in hospitals, why doctors don't wear hospital clothing, why they have to close whole wards down and why people get ill or even die because of hospital bugs (Legionella, MRSA, Urinary Infections etc)
Not saying the cleaning standard in Germany is perfect but it seems like that these sort of outbreaks are very rare over there. Just because I did not hear it does not mean it does not happen, however it is a very low scale situation over there I believe.

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