hospital510Two healthcare powerhouses have joined forces to combat one of the most serious challenges facing healthcare facilities, staff members that work within these spaces and the patients that receive care within their walls.

Earlier this month, the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a three-year partnership aimed at infection prevention implementation in acute care hospitals across the country. In particular, the effort aims to reduce the cases of:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections(CLABSIs)
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs)
  • Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections

“We welcome the opportunity to work with CDC on the important issue of infection prevention,” Maulik Joshi, president of HRET and associate executive vice president of AHA, said in an HRET press release. “This project will build on our national work that has successfully reduced CAUTI and CLABSI rates and improved patient care.”

HRET also will work with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) to create resources that can assist healthcare facilities with the design or redesign of spaces so that they are infection resistant for better patient outcomes and safer staff environments. Additionally, HRET will offer “technical assistance to hospitals, in part, by developing concise reports that provide guidance on health care facility design and layout for improving infection control.”

This effort obviously will be very beneficial considering the extreme challenge that healthcare facilities face with infection control. In fact, according to a CDC report, in intensive care units and wards of U.S. acute care facilities, there are more than 30,000 estimated CLABSI infections per year alone. Combine this figure with all types of infections that occur in healthcare environments and it’s easy to see there is a crisis on the hands of those who work and receive care in these spaces.

At Norix, infection control is top of mind every time we develop a new product. After all, our furniture is used in behavioral healthcare facilities, correctional spaces, shelter environments and other places where hygiene and the presence of bodily fluids may taint inferior furniture that is not built with infection control safeguards. A few of our products that help facilities fight infection include:

Comfort Shield® Remedy Sealed Seam Mattress – This mattress is made with a comfortable polyurethane foam core and is encased in a fire retardant polyurethane coated cover with radio frequency welded seams for enhanced hygiene, security and durability. The mattress is fluid, crack, peel, abrasion and bed bug resistant, and is anti-microbial and anti-fungal. The sealed seam also provides a virus barrier and is resistant to delaminating for greater infection control, and features a breathable vent that repels oil, water, blood, urine and other fluids.

Forté™ Series Seating – This designer chair series is fashioned for comfort, flexibility and durability. It’s also made of rotationally molded, specially formulated, fire-retardant, high-impact polyethylene that’s chemically resistant to blood, vinegar, urine, feces, salt solution and chlorine solution. The smooth surface of this product also makes it easy to clean – another benefit for facilities concerned about infection control.

Attenda® Series Platform Beds – This floor mounted bed is engineered for intensive use durability and proven suitable for continuous daily use in challenging environments. Its raised lip around the bed deck retains fluid for easy clean-up. Like Forté™, this product also is rotationally molded with a specially formulated, high-impact polyethylene that’s chemically resistant to blood, vinegar, urine, feces, salt solution and chlorine solution, and is easy to clean.

There are other products that Norix designs and manufacturers that are equally resistant to infection which you can learn more about here. But this conversation shouldn’t necessarily be about our products.

Instead the conversation should focus on the encouraging news that government agencies, healthcare organizations and manufacturers like Norix are all, in their own way, tackling an epidemic that has long been a challenge in healthcare environments. And with even a partial eradication of infections in these spaces, staff will feel safe working and patients will be more secure seeking treatment in healthcare facilities of all kinds.