Published on 06. July 2021

First Berlin Center for Infection Medicine Founded

No chance for germs – Vivantes strengthens infection control

With the founding of Berlin's first Center for Infection Medicine, Vivantes is creating a facility with special expertise in combating nosocomial infections and multi-resistant pathogens. For the pioneering interlinking of the fields of infectiology and hygiene, Berlin's municipal hospital group is also relying on the use of a digital hygiene portal.

Every year, around 500,000 patients in Germany contract nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections, including around 30,000 with resistant pathogens, many of them in hospitals. The containment and successful treatment of these infections increasingly requires specialized expertise. One of the causes of increasing resistance is the excessive or untargeted use of antibiotics. Vivantes is actively addressing these challenges and, with the Center for Infection Medicine, is strategically repositioning itself for the future to effectively combat the spread of resistant pathogens.

New approaches in the fight against resistant pathogens

Dr. Johannes Danckert, Managing Director of Vivantes: "With the new Center for Infection Medicine and the close link between infectiology and hygiene, we are breaking new ground in the fight against resistant pathogens. We not only want to provide state-of-the-art treatment quality, but we also want to further develop infectiology as a whole. In this way, we are creating a professional lighthouse that offers the opportunity to have an impact beyond our own clinics and thus ensure greater patient safety in Berlin and beyond in the future."

Key tasks of the Berlin Center for Infection Medicine:

  • Infection Control: Monitoring and infection control, among other things with the help of a digital hygiene portal.
  • Antibiotic Stewardship: Analysis, control and advice on the use of antibiotics
  • Consistent screening of patients for multi-resistant pathogens
  • Preparation of guidelines and hygiene plans
  • Conducting regular training and continuing education

Dr. Caroline Isner, Chief Physician at the Auguste-Viktoria Hospital for Internal Medicine – Infectiology and Head of the new Center for Infection Medicine: "With the new orientation of our Infectious Medicine Department, we are professionally preparing for the current and future challenges in dealing with infections. This increasingly concerns the topic of infection control with the emergence of multi-resistant pathogens. The aim is to identify and interrupt infection chains at an early stage, and to maintain and improve treatment options – whether in pandemic or nosocomial infections. However, we will also continue our current focus on inpatient care for HIV patients. Due to the further development of HIV therapy over the past decades, the requirements have changed. Here, too, we have developed contemporary offerings for a holistic care concept."

Strengthening hygiene: Digital hygiene portal and additional competencies

As part of the new center, hygiene at Vivantes will also be significantly strengthened and equipped with more competencies. Among other things, a digital hygiene portal will be used for better surveillance of multi-resistant pathogens, nosocomial infections and postoperative wound infections. Data on the occurrence of pathogens is collected here in a standardized manner so that pathogen clusters and outbreaks can be detected more quickly.

Maral Miller, acting head of the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at Vivantes, says: "In addition to drawing up hygiene plans, staff training is also one of the central tasks of the Hygiene Institute. We want to promote awareness and strengthen competencies, ultimately ensuring that existing and future hygiene requirements are implemented even more consistently by all employees, as well as by patients and visitors. The fact that hygiene is emphatically upgraded in its importance serves the safety of us all."

Central functions of the digital hygiene portal:

  • IT support for hospital hygiene processes with reference to pathogens and patients.
  • Optimized surveillance of multi-resistant pathogens, nosocomial infections and postoperative wound infections
  • Inter-patient query of microbiological findings
  • Detection of pathogen clusters
  • Standardized transmission of surveillance data to systems of the National Reference Center for Surveillance of Nosocomial Infections

Antibiotic Stewardship: Vivantes implements antibiotic resistance strategy

The goal of antibiotic stewardship, a central task of the Center for Infectious Diseases, is to monitor the use of antibiotics and reduce inappropriate antibiotic use. Vivantes is guided by the German Antibiotic Resistance Strategy (DART) and the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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