A new study published in the June 2013 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) showed that uniforms in healthcare facilities are not washed on the recommended daily basis. While the study focused on the different laundering practices between provider types, it revealed that 90 percent of survey respondents washed their white coats only once a month. Scrubs were washed more frequently than white coats, but on an average of every two days. Even so, an equal number of respondents (90%) were aware that their uniforms were potentially contaminated deadly bacteria.
A recent whitepaper released by X-STATIC® discusses immediate action steps toward incorporating soft surface bacterial management into every day infection prevention protocols, such as conducting a soft surface fabric risk assessment including assessing staff laundering procedures and awareness of bacterial contamination of these and other healthcare laundered fabrics (linens, patient gowns, privacy curtains, etc.). The whitepaper also discusses incorporating antimicrobial fabrics as part of a comprehensive environmental hygiene program.
A major obstacle for most infection prevention technologies and programs is staff compliance. Incorporating engineering controls like antimicrobial fabrics powered by X-STATIC® technology reduce the reliance on the staff to follow proper procedures. The antimicrobial protection will also protect staff and patients between launderings as studies have shown uniforms are quickly re-contaminated after being put back in use.
X-STATIC® technology is registered antimicrobial agent with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It permanently bonds textile fibers with a layer of 99.9 percent pure metallic silver. The silver layer creates an ionic shield that inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi directly on the surface of the fabric. It provides continuous, permanent protection for patients and staff, lasts the life of the product, and is safe for the environment and healthcare worker.
For more information on how X-STATIC’s silver fiber technology works to kill bacteria on the surface of fabrics, watch our mechanism of action video.