Standard Precautions in Infection Control

Patient room of the future opened as new research and study laboratory on August 31 in Braunschweig, Germany


The name KARMIN (acronym for "hospital architecture, cleaning, material and infection") signifies a research project that sets new standards for the patient room of the future. Since patient rooms are in the focus of hospital construction and hygiene and particularly important for infection prevention, the project has been involved in the development of an infection-preventive model room since 2016. To this end, various project partners from science and industry – including BODE/HARTMANN – have been exploring for several years to what extent spatial division, equipment and routing affect infection transmission.

First demonstrator presented in Berlin in 2020

Developing the patient room was based on structural analysis and interdisciplinary solutions. This allowed to design and build a prototype of an optimal, infection-proof patient room including en-suite bathrooms. The room is architecturally divided into an entrance as well as care, patient and visitor areas. The care area integrates a working surface, glove and disinfectant dispensers, a waste bin, and a care work cabinet in a small space. In the patient room of the future, the beds are no longer next to each other, but opposite each other. In addition, two individual patient bathrooms, each assigned to one person, minimize the risk of cross-contamination. According to its importance, the topic of hand disinfection was also taken sufficiently into account. To enable hand disinfection intuitively and without walking distances in all areas, different locations for disinfectant dispensers were defined and different dispenser types selected. In 2020, the prototype of the room was presented to the professional public on the grounds of the Charité during the World Health Summit in Berlin. For four weeks, interested professionals were allowed to explore and assess its suitability and usefulness.

Model room now used as research and study laboratory in Braunschweig

In order to pay tribute to the success of the project and to promote further innovations, the model room has now been set up as a research and study laboratory on the grounds of the Braunschweig Municipal Clinic where it opened on August 31, 2022. In the future, researchers from the Institut für Konstruktives Entwerfen, Industrie- und Gesundheitsbau (IKE) at the TU Braunschweig, the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films (IST), the Braunschweig Municipal Clinic and other industrial partners will develop practical model solutions for hospital design here. In addition to easy-to-clean materials and surfaces, sensors and automated cleaning systems, a cyber system for patient monitoring will also be tested. The cooperation, planned for at least five years, pursues the overarching goal of developing innovative yet practical structural and technical model solutions, smart materials and surfaces as well as cyber-physical-systems for care, treatment and cleaning and, thus, live up to the changing healthcare sector.


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