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04
Dec

Hospital reduces norovirus outbreaks by 91%


Norovirus outbreaks have dropped by 91% at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, Portsmouth, as shown in a study published in BMJ Quality & Safety, following the implementation of a multidimensional quality improvement initiative based on superbug-killing robotic technology. In comparison, outbreak numbers only fell by 28% in England.

 

Every winter, norovirus outbreaks can create chaos in hospitals as they can lead to bed or ward closures, staff sickness as well as general disruption. “We believe norovirus outbreaks cost the NHS £41.5m a year. If every hospital achieved the same result as Portsmouth the savings could be £38m a year,” says Dr Peter Greengross, Medical Director of the Learning Clinic.

 

This multidimensional quality improvement initiative led by the use of hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) bio-decontamination technology also includes education, enhanced patient surveillance, early automated detection and notification of infected patients as well as proactive care and control measures. Dr Caroline Mitchell, Associate Director for Infection and Patient Safety, at the Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, says: “By application of simple measures, we have significantly reduced the number of cases of norovirus and other gastrointestinal viruses which can cause serious and unpleasant symptoms in patients and massively disrupt the operational capacity of the hospital. The combination of new technology and better training and organisation of our staff has contributed hugely to our successful results in this field.”

 

As reported in a BBC One South Today feature broadcasted on 17th November 2015, ‘a strategy combining high standards of cleanliness with cutting-edge technology’ has led to no outbreaks since 2010. The rare single cases have been contained with no transmission to other patients or members of staff. The cleaning robots (Bioquell Q-10 suite used at the Queen Alexandra Hospital rely on hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) to decontaminate rooms. This technology has been proven to kill 99.9999% of pathogens. A smaller and faster version (Bioquell BQ-50) of this HPV generator is now available from Bioquell.

 

 

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