Intelligence and data key to an efficient sluice room

Better asset monitoring and reporting is boosting the performance and reliability of sluice room equipment – improving patient outcomes, cutting costs, and enhancing efficiencies, says infection prevention and control specialist, DDC Dolphin.

Zoe Allen, the company’s Marketing and Product Innovation director, outlines the new opportunities in this field for those charged with maintaining such equipment – typically NHS EFM professionals – via the ability to audit, collate, and evaluate data on the performance, reliability, and operation over time of individual machines

In the broadcast and printed media these days we regularly see images of ambulances queuing up outside overburdened and under-resourced hospitals. This is one of the most obvious and immediate signs that the NHS is facing some of its greatest challenges in its history, especially with continuing difficulties in recruiting nurses and clinicians, and the impact of the clinical backlog that has built up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is little sign of a respite as hospitals struggle to cope with surging patient numbers

Hard-pressed NHS Trusts are declaring critical incidents with worrying regularity – a scenario that would be even more alarming if it were reported more widely. This crisis has become so commonplace that some Trusts are quietly cancelling appointments and procedures without highlighting the situation as critical. The UK has just 2.4 hospital beds per 1,000 people, British Medical Association data reveals. That is less than half the EU OECD average, with the UK ranking second-worst in a table of 23 nations. The idea of one of your hospital wards having to close due to a healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) is unthinkable. At a time when you can’t spare a single bed, losing a ward to infection – however briefly – cannot be allowed to happen. 

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