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Víctor Vallés, founder & CEO of Vesismin (Photo: Vesismin Health).

Vesismin creates pioneering programme with comprehensive approach to hospital infections

Vesismin Health, based at the Barcelona Science Park and specialising in R&D and commercialising innovative solutions to control infections in hospital settings, has created Vesismin Services, the first comprehensive programme to provide guidance for professionals at hospitals and health centres in assessing protocols and practices for preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

The innovation of this pioneering project lies in its comprehensive guidance service with a global approach that facilitates traceability of all procedures that pose an HAI risk, providing a precise, personalised diagnosis of compliance levels of each department at healthcare centres, plus a plan for improvement and follow-up.

“In recent years, many measures have been implemented to prevent, reduce and control HAI: training, protocols, one-off interventions, but most are isolated measures. In Spain, and I would even dare say in Europe (except the United Kingdom and Germany), there is no prevention and control programme for healthcare-associated infections with a comprehensive approach like ours,” explains Vesismin CEO Víctor Vallés.

Comprehensive approach to HAIs

Vesismin Services provides personalised, precise, reliable and confidential guidance for all areas of hospitals and health centres: ICU, A&E, environmental biosecurity, hazardous waste management, cleaning services, surgical units, transplant units, haemodialysis, dialysis, oncology, etc. The programme has four different services: assessment, diagnosis, implementation of the improvement plan, and monitoring and follow-up, each of which can be commissioned separately.

Based on the final points awarded, calculated automatically after the authorised staff fill in a series of online questionnaires that are personalised and specific to each department in order to assess the level of compliance with procedures and protocols to control infections, the team at Vesismin Services carries out an objective diagnosis and determines what needs improvement to better prevent HAI in each area.

After this in-depth study of the results, the same experts draft a fully personalised improvement plan for the areas that need it. Then, they design the protocols and documents needed to support the procedures currently in use and propose a continuous training programme to implement advanced solutions.

Finally, in order to ensure proper compliance with the improvement plan suggested, they offer monitoring and follow-up service that includes reviewing the protocols and documents, the option for self-diagnosis of real compliance with the HAI prevention measures, availability of the latest generation tools and products that facilitate the practices and measures used, and a quality certificate once the services are fully implemented, helping optimise indicators for gaining ISO, EFQM, J JCI-FADA, etc. certifications.

Vesismin Services is the result of a large experience and expertise in Spain and overseas over more than 19 years of helping to prevent healthcare-associated infections. The company also worked with very prestigious healthcare professionals who are experts in preventive medicine and controlling infection in this programme.

“It is a strategic service that helps improving practices and protocols in this field, reducing the risk of stress among healthcare professionals and the socio-economic costs of HAI, boosting the reputation and functional capacity of the centre and, in short, helping strike a balance between patient safety and the sustainability of the measures used,” explains Víctor Vallés.

Vesismin is currently implementing a pilot version in two Spanish hospitals and the Spanish Society of Preventive Medicine and Public Health is considering its use.

HAIs in figures

Healthcare-associated infections are an important public health issue. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), one in fifteen hospital patients in Europe get an HAI; and, in hospitals alone, HAI cause more deaths in Europe than any other infectious disease monitored by the ECDC.

This EU agency also estimates there are roughly 3.8 million healthcare-associated infections in hospitals and long-term care centres in Europe each year. And, according to the ECDC, more than half of HAI are preventable.

In Spain, according to the latest report on the prevalence of HAI published by the ISCIII National Epidemiological Surveillance Network (RENAVE), approximately 7% of all hospital patients in this country in 2018 and 2019 contracted an infection while in hospital, above the European average of 5.7%.

IRAs also contributes to a significant increase in healthcare costs, generating an extra 16 million days of hospital stay in Europe and approximately € 7 trillion in direct costs, according to the latest report of the Patient Safety Strategy of the National Health System.

Working at the forefront of innovation

Vesismin Health was founded in Barcelona in 2004 as a project within the IQS university center by entrepreneur Víctor Vallés. Since then, the company’s main goal is the close collaboration with healthcare centres in their fight to face HAI by providing effective, innovative disinfection solutions.

Among other challenges achieved, Vesismin Health was a pioneer in introducing and changing the habits of healthcare professionals regarding single-use wipes, both for disinfecting skin and instruments, making disinfection easier and more hygienic. The company was also the first lab to formulate and launch orange chlorhexidine, in 2012, as an alternative to povidone-iodine to facilitate antisepsis of the surgical field and reduce infections.

The company has seen double-digit growth, with average annual growth (CAGR) of 27% for the past 5 years. Its turnover for 2021 was nearly €12 million, 30% of which was from exports to 45 countries, including France, Poland, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Romania and the Dominican Republic, among others. They also kicked off a plan to attract talent, which increased their team by 29%. The company is currently present at over 400 hospitals in Spain and expanding into other markets, like pharmaceuticals and veterinary.