National Patient Safety Week Focus: Soft Surface Bacterial Management

National Patient Safety Awareness Week has passed, but this year’s theme “Patient Safety 7/365: 7 days of recognition, 365 days committed to safe care,” underscores the need for continual awareness and conversation.  X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology recognizes the great achievements that have been made in the field of patient safety; however there is still work to be done. Soft surfaces make up 90 percent of the patient healthcare environment but are a missing piece of many infection prevention and safety protocols today. In the following scenario, see if you can pick out this nurse’s mistake. While changing the dressing of a MRSA infected wound, a nurse realizes that visitors in the hall can see her ICU patient in a compromised position.  With her gloves on, the nurse pulls the curtain shut with a quick tug.   After completing the dressing change, she straightens the patient’s bedding and gown and quickly throws her favorite roll of tape back into her uniform pocket as she leaves the room — throwing her gloves into the trash. In this scenario the nurse has done everything right, except for one thing; she has potentially contaminated almost all of the soft surfaces in this patient’s room as well as her own uniform!  Although this was probably unintentional, cross contamination of this nature is extremely common and soft surface fabrics like privacy curtains, scrubs and lab coats can go without cleaning for extended periods of time. It has been proven that soft surface fabrics act as “fomites,” which allow bacteria to grow and multiply. In a 2012 AJIC online published study, privacy curtains in three different medical wards...

X-STATIC ® ANNOUNCES WEBINAR ON SOFT SURFACE BACTERIAL MANAGEMENT AVAILABLE FOR CE CREDIT

X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology announces a new webinar available for CE credit, “A More Complete Approach to Infection Prevention: Bacterial Management of Soft Surfaces and Associated Reduction in HAIs.” Launched in conjunction with Infection Control Today, the webinar is now available for download here. During the presentation, Infection prevention expert, Peggy Prinz Luebbert, highlights the importance of bacterial management on soft surface fabrics in the healthcare setting and why it’s important to include these in a complete infection prevention bundle. Studies prove that soft surface fabrics are contaminated. However, they are often ignored by today’s infection prevention protocols. While hand washing and disinfecting hard surfaces like countertops, floors and bed rails help reduce infection rates; their effectiveness is limited without completely breaking the chain of infection. Soft surface fabrics such as privacy curtains, uniforms/scrubs, bed linens and lab coats make up 90 percent of a patient’s contact environment and because of the frequency of contamination, laundering alone is insufficient and does not reduce cross contamination while in use. Luebbert identifies what soft surfaces are in the healthcare setting and reviews current clinical data on contamination and transmission of bacteria via these surfaces. She also discusses the lack of standardized protocols, limited number of guidelines and the ineffectiveness of laundering alone – underscoring the need for a better solution. The most effective solution is one that doesn’t require behavior modification or training, such as antimicrobial fabrics. For more information on CE credit requirements, please visit infectioncontroltoday.com. X-STATIC ® antimicrobial technology permanently bonds textile fibers with a layer of 99.9 percent pure metallic silver. The silver layer creates an ionic shield that...