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.
Recent research into antimicrobial efficacy under typical dry usage conditions shows a massive difference between products currently available on the market.
Most commonly-used clinical disinfectants are compatible with copper materials, when used in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines.
“Routine cleaning to remove dirt and soil is necessary for good sanitation and to assure the effective antimicrobial performance of the Antimicrobial Copper alloy surface. Cleaning agents typically used for traditional touching surfaces are permissible; the appropriate cleaning agent depends on the type of soiling and the measure of sanitisation required. Normal oxidation or wear of Antimicrobial Copper surfaces will not impair the antimicrobial effectiveness of the product.”
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 Antimicrobial Copper – a simple intervention – offers significant and long-term benefits for patients and healthcare providers alike.
Strategic use of clinical touch-surface items made from Antimicrobial Copper has been 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 Antimicrobial Copper. This constitutes 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 Antimicrobial Copper alloys available – all approved by the US EPA as able to make public health benefit claims relating to touch surfaces under typical usage conditions – 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.
Resources for you
Further information is freely available, via the Antimicrobial Copper website www.antimicrobialcopper.org for scientific data & evidence.