Clinical, Medical and Diagnostics
New Testing System for Hospital Hygiene
Sep 15 2023
TÜV SÜD tests machine-washability of medical devices
TÜV SÜD has introduced an automated testing system for hospital hygiene, focusing on the machine-washability of medical devices. This system assesses the durability and functionality of products like hospital beds, patient hoists, and walking aids after undergoing washing cycles. It evaluates factors such as surface finishes, electronics, plastic components, and movable parts' resilience during the washing process.
Previously, manufacturers had to invest in their own washing systems or use hospital facilities for testing. However, TÜV SÜD's experts can now provide rapid and reliable testing, enhancing the value of products and aiding in promotional efforts.
The testing adheres to industry standards, with specific criteria for the number of washing cycles devices must withstand. For example, medical beds are evaluated based on DIN EN 60601-2-52, which previously required 50 cycles but has been proposed to increase to 250 cycles in the latest standard draft. Similar standards exist for patient hoists and walking aids. TÜV SÜD has developed corresponding test procedures, considering factors like temperature, pH, and cleaning agents.
In Germany, where 20 million people are treated as hospital inpatients annually, machine reprocessing is becoming increasingly popular. Beds are taken to a central department, cleaned, disinfected, and dried with the push of a button, reducing the workload on nursing teams and minimising contact with potentially infectious surfaces.
The healthcare industry's demand for efficient and reliable cleaning processes is growing, especially in the face of competition, rising costs, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Reliable hygiene measures are crucial in preventing infections, and TÜV SÜD's testing system contributes to this goal.
From a sustainability perspective, the testing facility recycles about 75% of the water used in the washing process, saving energy and water. Further optimisation measures, such as heat recovery from wastewater and carbon-neutral energy generation through photovoltaics, are also being considered.
TÜV SÜD's automated testing system enhances the hygiene and durability of medical devices, addressing the growing demand for efficient and reliable cleaning processes in healthcare settings, while also contributing to sustainability goals.
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