Antimicrobial products are paramount in the healthcare industry. They play a critical role in preventing cross-contamination and improving cleanliness in hygiene-critical healthcare environments. Today’s advanced antimicrobial technologies enhance healthcare products and equipment with added levels of protection against the growth of harmful organisms.
Sanitizing chemicals, gloves, masks, and safety protocols to reduce touching or cross contamination are all found in proper healthcare settings. But there are other considerations, such as the materials and specific equipment used that must also be utilized to ensure the safest, cleanest healthcare environments possible, especially now.
Here are five reasons why antimicrobial products are vital for healthcare facilities.
Antimicrobial products work by inhibiting or killing bacteria on surfaces. They can come in the form of hand soaps, wipes, sprays, or anything that can be applied to a surface to fight bacteria, or the surface itself can be antibacterial. Bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments, so cold, dry, hard surfaces have some inherent antimicrobial properties. It has also been discovered that copper and copper alloys like brass are naturally antimicrobial
All of this is important because healthcare-associated infections are becoming more common every year, with some estimates stating that one in 25 patients will acquire a new infection during their hospital stay. Most of the time, these infections occur as a result of contact with surfaces or medical equipment, which can easily be prevented by using an antimicrobial product.
For instance, the use of antimicrobial barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic in hospitals has been an effective way to reduce the spread of the virus while ensuring the safety of patients and healthcare workers.
Antimicrobial sanitizers and wipes kill germs on surfaces, while antimicrobial cleaners break down stubborn dirt and grime. They provide an unprecedented level of cleanliness and protection that is vital for a healthcare facility. Additionally, making sure that all your products like storage baskets, healthcare hampers, laundry & linen carts, and wire shelving used in medical facilities are also inherently antimicrobial within their design and raw materials also play a role in ensuring cleaner healthcare environments.
Healthcare workers are constantly exposed to potentially deadly bacteria and viruses that can be transferred through surfaces or through direct contact. By using antimicrobial products in medical facilities, you’re providing greater protection for your staff and cleaner, healthier environments for your patients.
Because healthcare workers are constantly surrounded by a higher level of pathogens, they are more at risk of illness than employees in other industries. It’s therefore imperative to have effective and efficient antimicrobial products to reduce that exposure for the safety of both patients and staff.
However, as we continue to kill off generations of microorganisms, the emergence of resistant strains is increasingly becoming a major concern. Continuous innovation and thorough sanitization in various areas to keep up with the rate of evolving new pathogens becomes an increasingly necessary effort to combat the spread of disease.
In high-traffic areas like toilets and bathrooms, consistent and thorough use of antimicrobial products can be highly effective in reducing cross-contamination between patients and staff. Apart from having antimicrobial products that keep facilities hygienic, also ensure you have a variety of bathroom safety products, sanitizing products, and other disinfectants.
One area of concern in hospitals is the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are only effective for treating infections if they work against bacteria present in a patient’s body. When doctors prescribe an antibiotic, it does not guarantee that this specific drug will be effective because there may already be resistant bacteria living inside your body or on any one of the objects you come into contact with.
With the growing issue of antibiotic resistance, the need to incorporate antimicrobials in healthcare settings has become more important. Along with the need to have antimicrobials, regulations are being placed on healthcare facilities to ensure proper use of these products to support antibiotic resistance prevention efforts.
The CDC recommends using only those types of hygiene procedures and tools that will not contribute to or promote bacterial growth, especially drug-resistant bacteria. With this information and recommendations, healthcare facilities that do not properly incorporate antimicrobial products into their infection control strategies may be at risk of promoting bacterial growth, which leads to more use of antibiotics.
Healthcare-associated infections are infections contracted in a healthcare center such as an emergency room, hospital amenities, or rehabilitation facility. These infections can be caused by the patient’s own flora (bacteria normally present on the skin and mucous membranes), environmental bacteria, cross-contamination from other patients or medical practitioners who may carry resistant strains of bacteria, and lastly, antibiotic-resistant strains that have developed within the center.
Antimicrobial products are brought into the healthcare center to help fight against these infections because they work by different methods than antibiotics. The most effective method used is for them to be out of reach of the bacteria so that it can’t develop resistance. With antimicrobial products, there are fewer organisms in the environments that patients and staff may come into contact with over time.
The fewer bacteria there are in the environment, coupled with strict cleaning and disinfection procedures, will lead to fewer cases of Healthcare-Associated Infections within the setting. With the right approach, healthcare centers can be able to stay clean, reduce the spread of infections, and be proactive in keeping their patients safe.
Antimicrobial products are essential for safe healthcare centers. They help to prevent the spread of dangerous microorganisms and provide a barrier between patients with compromised immune systems or those who have infections that could be worsened by exposure to antibiotic-resistant microbes. Investing in antimicrobial solutions is important not only for infection control but also for overall patient safety as well.
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, Aaron enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.
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