Reduced Microbial Bioburden = Improved Patient Safety
Reducing microbial bioburden on frequently-touched clinical surfaces is now recognised as fundamental to improving patient safety.
Healthcare-Associated Infections (HCAIs) are still prevalent in healthcare; Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is making the situation worse.
Strategic use of effective antimicrobial materials, as an adjunct to cleaning and hand hygiene, is proven effective – not only at reducing microbial bioburden on clinical touch surfaces – but also at reducing the infection risk to patients.
Helping To Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
Horizontal Gene Transfer, a key element of AMR spread and development, takes place on standard clinical touch surfaces, but not on copper.
Cost-Benefit Analysis: Astounding Results Indicated
Feedback From Early Adopters
At Grinnell Regional Medical Center in the US, post-installation assessment shows that the copper surfaces maintain ‘terminal clean’ levels of microbial bioburden even in ‘closed’ hospital rooms:https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(16)30751-9/fulltext
Recognition in design guidelines and healthcare ratings systems around the world
The benefits of strategic use of copper touch surfaces have been recognised in healthcare design guidelines and quality assessment systems around the world. These include:
- Health Protection Scotland, 2017
- ECRI Institute: Top 10 Technology Watch List for the Hospital C-Suite, 2014
- CNESH: Canadian Network for Environmental Scanning in Health, 2014
- AHRQ: US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2013
- CMJ: Polish National Centre for Quality Assessment in Healthcare, 2016
- EPIC3: NHS England NICE-accredited guidelines, 2014
- Finnish Building Information Foundation Indoor Hygiene, 2017
- International WELL Building Standard™, 2016
- IGBC: Indian Green Building Council – Healthcare Facilities Rating System Guidelines, Pilot Version, 2016
Healthcare providers are under pressure to improve efficiency, resilience to seasonal challenges (such as ‘flu and norovirus) and to reduce their antibiotic prescription levels.
A robust body of evidence shows that strategic use of copper touch surfaces – a simple intervention – offers significant and long-term benefits for patients and healthcare providers alike.
Strategic use of clinical touch-surface items made from copper / copper alloys is proven to be an effective supplement to infection control – with dramatic results shown by laboratory testing and clinical trials – without the need to change behaviour of healthcare workers, cleaning staff or patients.
Reducing infections will improve patient safety – this is one of the five strategic objectives in the WHO Global Action Plan for tackling Antimicrobial Resistance.
Achieving clinical cost-savings and freeing-up beds is a fundamental part of improving healthcare efficiency. The YHEC research provides a strong business case for copper touch surfaces.
Strategic use of copper materials for touch surfaces is a simple measure for healthcare providers to improve their overall performance, their finances and their reputation; with wider social and economic benefits.
The wide range of copper alloys available means that products made from them do not even have to look like copper or brass. Some of the alloys are practically indistinguishable from stainless steel, yet have proven antimicrobial efficacy.
We hope this is helpful and thought-provoking.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.