Important infection control measures in care homes present challenges for any piece of equipment that requires mains water and drainage.
The Palliative Care Ward of Whipps Cross University Hospital discovered this to their cost when an ice maker had to be removed because the Infection Control Department deemed it unsuitable.
Hoshizaki solved the problem with an ice and water dispenser that passed inspection.
Eleanor Lister, clinical lead in the Infection Control Department, explains that the criteria essential to approval were that the unit had to run off mains water to reduce any harbouring of bacteria; that it should be easy to clean; that it should not have a nozzle-type water outlet as they encourage contact when refilling bottles and that the installer provide an annual service. Hoshizaki’s DCM-120KE complied on all counts.
The unit avoids the problem of both airborne and human borne bacteria from entering the interior of the ice maker as the ice moves directly to the storage hopper the instant it is made, meaning that it has no contact with light or air until it is dispensed. Meanwhile, ambient air is prevented from entering the hopper by a close fitting lid and rubber diaphragm on the dispense mechanism.
As well as providing a constant supply of water, the DCM-120KE produces approximately 125kgs of cubelet ice per day which is more than enough for the needs of an 11 bed ward.
“The machine has made a very real difference to our patients,” concludes ward manager Knut Wilmott. “It’s important that we provide what comfort we can and, as well as being able to serve a constant supply of soothing cold drinks, we have some patients who can no longer eat or drink but who can still gain a little pleasure from sucking on an ice cube.”