Which challenges does patient care face nowadays? We asked a team that tackles these challenges and helps nursing professionals to provide safe and efficient patient care every day.
I'm not really new to the team. In fact, this year I also have an anniversary because I’ve been part of the HARTMANN family for 20 years now. Today, HARTMANN produces and sells 65 million of us each year. Sell? Yep, that’s right – we’re the MediSets. We’re helping more than 10,000 hospitals across Europe to make patient care safer and more efficient. On top of this, we’re also used for treating patients at home.
I was born in France and sold for the first time in 1998. In the late 1990s, major medical scandals involving patient safety occurred in France, such as transfusion acquired infection. This really drove the topic of patient safety in both medical circles and the broader public. Those crises paved the way for ready-to-use care procedure kits that are only used once per patient and treatment. That’s how we were born.
But I digress – back to myself and my work. There are 10 main product families. I, for example, am a wound treatment set, but there are also sets that are used for laying catheters, suturing wounds, making infusions, or disinfection before surgery.
In total, there are around 250 employees at HARTMANN who work on the MediSet product range, from production to delivery to the customer. Overall, we are used in more than 20 countries.
Even though we differ in our composition, we all have one goal in mind: to give nurses more time to care for patients. In other words, we do our job so they can have more time to give that personal touch their patients need.
A very time-consuming task in the daily life of nurses in the clinic is to put all necessary components for a care procedure together, for example for a wound treatment. How many steps do you think are needed to have all the necessary instruments and materials ready for the patient's treatment? The compresses are in one drawer, the swabs in the other. Where are the drapes now? And then quickly get the tweezer from the adjoining room. I could go on.
When it comes to home care, having everything needed for a specific care procedure is very valuable for a nurse. We MediSets save time that is actually needed for the patient's care. We are complete, close at hand and sterile. That’s also useful for treating patients in the home where nurses, for example, do not always have access to a clean area to wash their hands. By providing components like hydro-alcoholic gel for disinfection or an extra drape we make sure that nurses can do their job quickly, efficiently and safely. They can focus on their actual job while we do ours.
That brings us to the second thing that spurns us on: avoiding nosocomial infections that are transmitted during a hospital stay or treatment in a nursing home. It is difficult to identify the annual number of such infections. In 2013, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimated that about 80,000 patients have at least one hospital acquired infection (HAI) on any given day. That means that one in 18 patients in a European hospital has an HAI. The safety of patients and the safety of the treatment personnel must be our top priority. That’s where my team and I are making a real contribution by reducing the risk of spreading infections.
Nurses, patients - what about the hospital itself? There’s a third area where we carry huge responsibility. Medical facilities such as hospitals are constantly under high cost pressure. You might think that my colleagues and I are not up to date, because we are only used once. But that’s not the case. Sterilization of reusable products is expensive and costly. We MediSets are the alternative that can reduce hospital costs.
My colleagues and I are always discussing which one of these aspects of our work is most important. In the end, we all agree: If all three aspects work together, saving more time for the patient, a lower risk of infection and lower costs, then the medical care of the patient benefits threefold. That's why we love our work!
In 2018, HARTMANN is celebrating its 200-year anniversary. We are now counting down to our anniversary celebration in June 2018 through a series of articles that show how our employees and partners contribute to advancing healthcare, as well as discussing trends and issues that affect the healthcare systems we serve.