The protection of our employees from infections is high on our list of priorities at the Klinikum rechts der Isar. Our corona team of experts meets regularly since the end of January 2020 to discuss and develop hygiene and other protective measures. These measures include protective gear, information sessions on hygiene, an internal corona hotline for employees, an employee online platform with information, and the provision of a high capacity of PCR and antibody tests.
Measures for employees
- If you feel sick, stay at home!
- Medical facemasks are mandatory in the whole hospital
- Hygiene rules: keep a distance of 1.5m whenever possible, wash your hands and sneeze or cough in your elbow/disposable paper towel (disinfect hands after!)
- Measure your temperature twice a day. A temperature above 38.0 C indicates a fever.
FFP2-masks for direct patient contact
The Klinikum rechts der Isar increased their employee safety standards because of the state-wide high number of infections. From the 16.12.20 onwards we recommend all employee that have direct patient contact to wear an FFP2-mask. These masks have been part of the standard protective gear on high-risk areas, such as the Covid-19 wards and the emergency room, since the beginning of the corona pandemic. Medical masks (surgical masks) are mandatory for all employees, patients and visitors in the whole hospital area.
FFP2- masks (Filtering Face Piece) filter particles, fluid drops, and aerosols. When worn correctly, FFP2-masks protect the wearer and those in surrounding areas from a possible infection with SARS-CoV-2. By wearing these masks, the risk of infection for employees will be reduced further, especially when working with inpatients that are unable to war a facemask.
Hand-hygiene during patient care
- There are five moments for hand-hygiene: 1. before patient contact, 2. before aseptic work, 3. after contact with pathogen holding secretions, excretions, 4. after patient contact, and 5. after contact with direct patient environments.
- Before applying protective gear: medical facemasks, respiratory face masks, protective eye wear, gloves, protective gowns, face shield.
- After the removal of protective gear.
Information sessions on hygiene
The department of hygiene has developed and held hygiene information sessions early on in the pandemic. In addition to these sessions, they have created information sheets and videos. All materials are available through the online corona platform for employees. All employees of the hospital are informed about the current state of affairs through regular e-mails. We are maintaining the standards of the Robert Koch Institute and have expanded on the rules provided by them.
At the start of the pandemic, protective gear was in short supply. Unfortunately we need to take into account that shortages can happen again. The Klinikum rechts der Isar is doing everything in its power to ensure that our employees have access to sufficient amounts of protective gear and materials. The correct gear and the correct wearing thereof ensures protection from infections. We are especially teaching how to correctly put this on, how to disinfect, and how to take it safely off again. There are rules around what protective gear to wear when working with patients in different places. In work that involves high levels of exposure to aerosols, for example when someone needs to intubated, we provide special face-shields.
PCR-Tests for employees
We consider it a high priority to test our employees and patients. The Institute for Virology at the TUM has a high test capacity, they perform testing based on the following criteria:
- When someone presents with symptoms that could indicate an infection with SARS-CoV-2
- When an employee has contact with an SARS-CoV-2 infected person
- For employees that work with Covid-19 patients and want to get tested
- Mandatory testing for employees returning out of risk areas
- Voluntary tests for employees returning from a foreign country
Antibody testing for employees
One of Germany’s largest antibody studies is taking place at the Klinikum rechts der Isar. All 7,000 employees of the hospital and allied scientific institutes of the Technical University Munich can voluntarily participate in this study. The level of antibodies in relation to SARS-CoV-2 and its stability will be measured over a 2 year time period. A questionnaire asks what kind of infection risks employees were exposed to in different parts of the hospital, for example at the Covid wards, the normal wards, but also in logistics or administrative parts. The results of this study will help optimise safety measures in our hospital and in others in Germany.
Employees that have worries and fears because of the corona pandemic, can get confidential psychological support. The corona hotline for employees offers individual advice and help. It is also possible to turn to co-workers in the department of Psychosomatics and Psychiatry, as well as to the “Seelsorge”. The department of Psychosomatics offers confidential Walk-in hours for employees.