Group photo of the Onco-Pneumo department of Sint-Trudo Hospital

Oxygen for the hospital: an interim statement

Oxypoint has a new training program for the use of its innovative oxygen flowmeter. Since April, 8 departments in 6 hospitals have started using it. Another 3 hospitals are ready to start and 16 others have already shown interest. Owing to a synergy of training and team building, oxygen suddenly becomes a source of energy in the department, and that is apparently appreciated.

Comfortable oxygen therapy

Nobody inhales continuously, do they? So why is oxygen therapy designed like you would? With the O2COMFORT flowmeter, Oxypoint offers an innovative answer to oxygen therapy in the hospital. This device can deliver oxygen in a traditional, continuous manner, but it also contains a comfort mode in which a dose of oxygen is only administered upon inhalation. In this comfort mode the oxygen delivery follows the natural breath rate of the patient. In this way, the O2COMFORT flowmeter increases the well-being of the patient while reducing the waste of oxygen. The latter ensures that the devices earn themselves back, on average within 3 to 4 years.

Demo as an eye-opener

"Doctors and nurses often do not realize how annoying it is to get oxygen in the nose in the traditional way," says Philip Hendrickx, who founded Oxypoint 7 years ago as a spin-off from the University of Antwerp. “Traditional, continuous oxygen therapy causes the nose to dry out, which can lead to irritation, crust formation, nose bleed and headache. The comfort mode keeps the moisture balance in the nose intact what stops the unpleasant side effects for the patient. Only when the caregiver personally experiences how the flowmeter makes the difference, you see that the enthusiasm grows quickly.”

Bram Geukens, head nurse at the Geriatrics and Pneumology Department at the Sint-Dimpna hospital in Geel, agrees: “When our team was able to experience traditional oxygen therapy for the first time, we started to realise how unpleasant it actually is. Before that demo we were not aware of it at all. We were very surprised by that. The comfort mode is much more pleasant. Now we take the time to inform all our patients and to use the comfort mode where possible.”

Breaking habits with team spirit

Marleen Dams, head of the training center at the Sint-Trudo hospital is enthusiastic: “Oxygen therapy is a basic treatment at the hospital. Generations of medical and nursing staff are used to the continuous delivery of oxygen using a traditional flowmeter. Oxypoint breaks the routine with the choice for the comfort mode. To support this change, we train the nursing staff to not only understand the operating principle and experience the benefits of the device, but also to address the team spirit and thus strengthen the learning curve. This learning trajectory runs for four weeks in the departments where the devices are present, whereby we arrive on site three times: at the start, halfway and at the end. As the process progresses, the team rises from level 1 to level 4, expressed in 4 oxygen badges. The team can reach a higher level by completing simple team challenges, such as taking a group photo that shows where the group itself gets oxygen from. This game element increases interaction and positive energy, so that the essence lingers better: the correct use and being able to help patients with a clear explanation and targeted action. A simple concept that is very effective. The devices have now been in use for a couple of months and the feedback is very positive.”

Nicole Engelen, head nurse at the Cardio Surgery and Cardiology Department at ZOL Genk, adds:“ I was immediately convinced of the approach. The team challenges ensure that the positive energy goes up so that the whole remains better. That way you can better help the patient and you as a team have a good time too. I can't object to that (laughs). "

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