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Project report

Augenärzte am Aegi

Market innovation for demineralised water supply for outpatient medical practices and MVZs

Reference project “Augenärzte am Aegi”, Hanover, successfully in continuous operation

The growing number of outpatient surgical procedures and the shortage of staff in the practices concerned are leading to an increase in peak loads in the area of AEMP, i.e. in sterile supply and technology.

Technologically, it is now described in the AKI Red Book as well as in two guidelines of the DGSV that an AEMP for media supply for steam generation must work with considerably lower limit values in order to keep the devices and instruments harmless in the operational process. This usually reduces the operating costs considerably.

Taking all influencing factors into account, we have designed a new system technology for water treatment in outpatient clinics, which has been used as an innovative market novelty (“outpatient clinical solutions”) in a surgical centre for eye operations since March 2023.

In ophthalmology, a high media quality of the water used for cleaning and disinfection devices as well as sterilisers is relevant.

Under the direction of Dr. Stefan Nikolic, the “Augenärzte am Aegi”, Hanover, agreed to be the first operator of our media treatment technology in the practice.

Dr. Nikolic explains: “We are a group practice and eye clinic, consisting of diagnostics, conservative therapy and a surgical centre for outpatient operations. We employ several operating doctors. We usually perform up to 35 operations a day and therefore have a large amount of surgical instruments that need to be cleaned. For this purpose, we have two washer-disinfectors (WDs) and two sterilisers. These have to be fed with so-called deionised water. Protecting the instruments and the equipment is important to us. Our previous system for the production of deionised water was maintenance-intensive and repeatedly had downtimes, especially during peak loads. This is not acceptable during ongoing surgical operations, because the standstill of the media supply (deionised water supply) means that we cannot maintain surgical operations.

Das Angebot der Gebr. Heyl Vertriebsgesellschaft für innovative Wasseraufbereitung mbH, Hildesheim, als Referenzkunde für diese neue innovative Anlagentechnik zur Verfügung zu stehen, kam zur richtigen Zeit.“ The offer from Gebr. Heyl Vertriebsgesellschaft für innovative Wasseraufbereitung mbH, Hildesheim, to be available as a reference customer for this new innovative plant technology came at the right time.”

The novel modular water treatment system was commissioned as a reference system in our ongoing operating theatre operations at the end of April 2023. Before the installation and commissioning were carried out, the input water quality and the quantity requirements for deionised water were checked and defined.

For the supply, it was necessary to install a booster system in the building on the advice of the experts in order to ensure the appropriate water pressure for the system and equipment operation in load mode. The actual installation and commissioning time for the “clinic solution” is normally 6 to 8 hours. During this time, the media supply is ensured by a bridging concept.

It is advantageous that the modularity of the system concept means that the technology can meet any requirement. With the nine-stage safety concept, the system in our facility offers maximum protection against particles, hardness, silicates, chlorine, standstill contamination, leakage and pyrogen contamination. In addition, the equipment technology and instruments are protected. The result is a reduction in the costs of operating the equipment, managing and procuring new instruments, but also minimising the risk to patients. The VE water system has a small footprint of 1.6 m². It was easy to integrate into our premises.

The system components are located in two lockable cabinets and are thus optimally protected from dust, dirt and moisture. Dr. Nikolic reports with satisfaction, “Already now we have the experience that we no longer have any unexpected maintenance work and that this relieves our staff. We no longer have downtimes. The most important aspects for us are that the system offers maximum safety and works as autonomously as possible.”

The system is designed according to the current state of technology and knowledge. The new limit values for water constituents of the German Society for Sterile Supply (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sterilgutversorgung e.V.), which have only been published since October 2022, have been fully taken into account.

We would like to thank Gebr. Heyl Vertriebsgesellschaft für innovative Wasseraufbereitung mbH, Hildesheim, for the opportunity to use the “ambulant clinical solutions” as the first outpatient surgical centre in Germany and can recommend the product without hesitation. We not only optimise our processes and reduce costs, but also increase the safety of our patients and our efforts to achieve the best surgical results.