Microbial Safety

Of particular interest are the cross LDE-university domains of patient microbial safety and the prevention of transmission of pathogens. For the next years, the theme “Microbial safety” will focus on two subjects. Both subjects will be about the prevention of infections in patients staying in health care centers.

The first subject is about the safe hospital environment. Nowadays, patients have more complex diseases and are more vulnerable and acquire resistant micro-organisms from their hospital environment. One of the recently identified sources for multi resistant micro-organisms is the wet environment. Therefore the bathroom is one of the rooms which needs special attention regarding safety. Sinks can be contaminated with resistant bacteria by staying in biofilms for years and by this form a continue source of infection. Within the CSS we started to develop a design of the bathroom, in which next to prevention of acquisition of bacteria from the biofilm, prevention of falling and the right choice of materials which is not slippery and will not deteriorate by using disinfectants. This is the so called SOuth HOlland SAfe BAthroom project. Goal is to come up with a blueprint for the design, layout and materials of a (microbial) safe bathroom for health care centers.

The second subject involves the identification of transmission, especially inter- and supra regional. Patients are frequently transferred to other health care centers as hospitals tends to focus on complex procedures and other centers focus on care afterwards. With the transfer of patients, the resistant micro-organisms travel with them. Each health care center has its own microbiology laboratory; these will identify the resistant micro-organism but are not always aware that the patient was already identified before as a carrier, or that transmission occurred within more than one health care center. Some resistant micro-organisms are typed nationally, but most are not. Even when the reference laboratory detects transmission between different health care centers, they are not allowed to unrevealing this finding due to privacy issues. Within the CSS, knowledge on privacy laws and sharing data with respect to these national laws, is present. With the help of the CSS we want to look for solutions to share data on transmission (time and location of detection) and bacterial types. Infection prevention needs data on transmission and transmission routes. The possibility of sharing these patient data with other health care centers will be studied with the idea of privacy reasons getting above population needs, which will lead to prevention.