Vanessas diary

A fictional patient story from a Hirslanden hospital

A restless night

The operation was a success, but last night I woke up in a state of confusion. My knee was hurting and I dreamt that I had picked up an infection and the wound wouldn’t heal. Panicking a little, I rang the night bell. Even though she had actually finished her shift, my nurse Ms. Romanova was soon by my side. I think she felt sorry for me. She measured my temperature and stayed at my bedside for a while. “Everything’s OK,” she said finally. She reassured me that I didn’t have to worry. Ms. Romanova has looked after me almost exclusively during my stay, which is why I also asked her if she always worked such long hours. She told me that her shift plan differed from week to week and was relatively flexible.

After Ms. Romanova finally went home, I still couldn’t stop thinking about my dream. As I couldn’t sleep, I did a little research on hospital germs. On the Hirslanden website, I read that they have been monitoring the number of infections at intensive care units since 2008 with the goal of improving patient safety. This has since resulted in a further significant reduction in the risk of infection. In the intensive care unit, there is a greater risk of infection caused by the use of catheters and ventilation machines. As stated on the website, over 99 percent of treatments using a central venous catheter or urinary catheter are made without sepsis – the specialist term for blood poisoning.

In 2016, it was even possible to reduce the infection rate for lung infections caused by ventilation devices (ventilator-associated pneumonia) by one-third compared to the previous year. Hygiene is apparently a fundamental topic at Hirslanden – there is even a dedicated “Hygiene management” department. This department develops and checks measures for reducing nosocomial infections (meaning those acquired in the hospital) and carries out the corresponding staff training. For several years, Hirslanden has systematically recorded postoperative wound infections using the HISS method (no snakes here, thankfully, HISS stands for Hospital Infection Surveillance System) and has always achieved very good results compared to the sector as a whole. Since 2012, the Swissnoso method has also been used for recording postoperative wound infections – which is exactly what I dreamt about. The values recorded here also confirm the high hygiene standards seen at Hirslanden. After all this research, I was finally able to get back to sleep, safe in the knowledge that I was in good hands at Hirslanden.

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About this blog

The aim of this blog is to highlight the themes ‘quality at Hirslanden’, ‘patient satisfaction’ and ‘patient safety’ in a simple yet realistic way. The fictitious patient Vanessa Birrer is confronted with these topics when she is admitted to a Hirslanden hospital after an emergency . From there, she tells her story in this blog.

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