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Healthcare Design, Rapid Prototyping, Infection Prevention, Research By Design, 

Design instead of antibiotics - How can a two bed patient room on a normal ward be designed affecting work processes and patient habits to ultimately reduce the transmission of MRSA? This project is a research into how architecture and design can reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infection.

National and international guidelines call for the isolation of patients with multi-resistant pathogens in single rooms. However, the increasing incidence of these pathogens complicates the implementation of these recommendations. Most multi-resistant pathogens are transmitted primarily by contact. Thus, transmission-free care of patients with these pathogens should be possible in double bedrooms specifically designed towards reducing these incidents. However, there are no studies on the possible equipment of double bedrooms with two bathrooms. There are also no investigations on the colonisation of new hospital buildings by microorganisms - two questions that this project is aiming to answer.
The KARMIN project is investigating if double patient bedrooms can be upgraded as alternative to current infection prevention methods. As a result, a demonstrator for double bedrooms with appropriate infection prophylaxis equipment, including the wet room, was realised. 13 partners from the field’s industry were involved along with two medical research teams of the Charité Berlin and Uniklinikum Jena and the core team of architects and designers at Technical University Braunschweig.

The project’s main strategy comprises of optimizing the patient room layout and design of relevant objects towards better cleanability, supportive workflow integration and data collection for thorough team reviews of disinfection compliance. Objects optimised towards infection prevention and methods of patient empowerment were developed as much as the layout of the patient room was rethought based on literature research, work experience, expert interviews, site visits and workshops.

The resulting patient room, object, data and workflow design will be presented at World Health Summit 2020 at Charité Berlin in October 2020.

︎︎︎ KARMIN Website
︎︎︎ Part of InfectControl 2020

Disinfection Dispenser
︎︎︎ The disinfection dispenser is the core element of horizontal infection prevention in an hospital environment. Despite its decade-long establishment there is still potential for improvement in reducing the transmission of multiresistant bacteria. Six dispensers were placed axisymmetrical along the work route of the hospitel staff. The newly developed KARMIN disinfection dispenser was designed to ease cleaning while preventing improper processing of single use components. A RFID tracking system recognizes anonymously how and in which order the hospital staff used the dispensers. It can also assign a user group to the usage statistics helping to define a lack in compliance more precisely during team meetings. The dispenser’s inbuilt display evokes an inductive emotional response in the user increasing compliance twofold as a study has shown.

Patient Bed Table
︎︎︎ One frequently used object within the immdiate proximity to the patient bed is the patient bed table - a surface and storage volume regularely touched by both patients, caregivers and sometimes also by visitors and cleaning staff. The design of the newly developed KARMIN patient bed table reduces the number of joints and sharp corners significantly to minimize ground for colonisation of bacteria. Instead shapes feature fillets and open spaces easy to reach by the cleaning staff.

Bedside Terminal
︎︎︎ An infection preventive environment needs to be used in the right manner. Therefore, informing and education is crucial to a successful infection prevention strategy. The KARMIN suite of the bedside terminal features a hierarchy prioritizing the education and empowerment of the patient through informative videos and serious games.

Project Partners
︎︎︎ Technische Universität Braunschweig – Institut für Industriebau und Konstruktives Entwerfen (Coordinator)
︎︎︎ Röhl GmbH Blechbearbeitung
︎︎︎ Universitätsklinikum Jena – Septomics Research Group
︎︎︎ Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin – Institut für Hygiene und Umweltmedizin

︎︎︎ Dr. Wolfgang Sunder
︎︎︎ Julia Moellmann
︎︎︎ Oliver Zeise