Celebrate International Infection Prevention Week With Us!

Presenting an Exciting Webinar Opportunity: Establishing a New Standard of Care for Soft Surface Fabrics

Becker’s Healthcare is partnering with X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology to host a new webinar on soft surface bacterial contamination, October 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm, in observance of International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), which takes place from October 19-25.

The webinar, hosted by Peg Luebbert, MS, MT (ASCP), CIC, CHSP, will focus on immediate action steps for addressing this important, yet often overlooked, piece of the infection prevention puzzle. Luebbert will discuss the business case for addressing soft surface fabrics and highlight facilities that have taken the initiative to elevate their standard of care for soft surface fabrics, including implementing engineering controls such as antimicrobial fabrics powered by X-STATIC®.

To register, visit www.beckersasc.com/webinar/establishing-a-new-standard-of-care-for-soft-surface-fabrics.html

Studies show that not only do bacteria exist on soft surfaces, but they can survive for up to weeks and months at a time. Addressing all types of environmental contamination will help facilities in their efforts to reduce the occurrence of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

To learn more about International Infection Prevention Week, click here. For more information on X-STATIC and its premier silver fiber technology, visit www.InfectionPreventionTextiles.com, “like” X-STATIC® on Facebook or follow us @XStaticFiber.

X-STATIC® Celebrates Environmental Services Week, September 14-20th, 2014

Sunday, September 14th marks the start of Environmental Services Week 2014, which recognizes environmental service (EVS) teams around the world who play a critical role in maintaining a safe environment for healthcare patients, visitors, and staff. Collectively, we think of a safe environment as a place we feel secure and protected from harm. In infection prevention, we think about a safe environment as a clean environment, where patients are protected from dangerous pathogens that can cause hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).

EVS personnel are as crucial as the doctors and nurses who treat patients in reducing the spread of infection and work hand-in-hand with infection prevention departments.  We are happy to join the entire Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) in acknowledging all the progress the industry has made as well as the individual environmental service professionals for their efforts in caring for a complex healthcare environment.

As with hard surfaces, understanding the risks associated with soft surface fabrics in the patient environment will better equip EVS teams to address this infection prevention challenge. Numerous studies have shown soft surface fabrics, such as privacy curtains, to be frequently contaminated with bacteria and that these bacteria can survive for extended periods of time. Even so, one survey of current practices revealed, “thirty-seven percent of hospitals only launder privacy curtains when they are visibly soiled.”[1]

Infection prevention and EVS departments can work together to create better standards of care for soft surface fabrics, including written policies for laundering and utilizing engineering controls like antimicrobial fabrics. But remember, not all antimicrobial technologies are created equal!

As one of the Becker’s Hospital Review Top 100 Infection Prevention Products to know, X-STATIC® Antimicrobial technology is the premier technology for soft surface fabrics. It is an antimicrobial agent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and works by permanently bonding 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 fabrics. Products powered by X-STATIC® give EVS managers the peace of mind that fabrics in the healthcare environment are working just as hard as their staff, without any need for additional attention or compliance behavior.

Visit our partner Arc-Com at this year’s AHE EXHANGE Annual Conference, September 21-24th in Tampa, FL and ask about their products powered by X-STATIC®. And look for the silver stripes!

To learn more about Environmental Services Week and AHE, please click here. If you missed the article in the summer issue of AHE Explore Magazine on privacy curtains, order a back copy today! For more information on X-Static, visit www.InfectionPreventionTextiles.com, “like” X-STATIC® on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @XStaticFiber.

[1]DeAngelis , Dianne L. et al. Hospital Privacy Curtains: Cleaning and Changing Policies – Are We Doing Enough? American Journal of Infection Control. Volume 41, Issue 6, Supplement. Page S33, June 2013

New Study from CDC Indicates Linens Were Likely Transmitter of Fungal Infection in Hospital Outbreak

Recent research released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the cross contamination risk associated with soft surface fabrics in healthcare is very real. We consistently hear from the infection prevention community that research, data and evidence-based practice is paramount to spurring healthcare systems to action.

The study published in the May 2014 issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, describes an outbreak of a fungal infection (mucormycosis) that occurred between August 2008 and July 2009 in a New Orleans Children’s Hospital. The infection was traced backed to hospital linens as the transmission vehicle. The linens were the only exposure source identified as common to all the patients. The full study can be found here.

Fabrics and other soft surfaces in the healthcare environment are fomites and do represent a significant portion of the direct patient environment. Still, guidelines and standard procedures for soft surfaces are severely lacking compared to other surfaces. X-STATIC® is committed to supporting the production of additional research that provides a greater body of evidence in the area of soft surfaces because we know that this represents an untapped opportunity to employ a more complete infection prevention program.

Products powered by X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology provide a permanent and continuous solution for reducing bacteria on the surface of fabrics surrounding healthcare staff and patients. Take action to address soft surface fabrics in your facility today. Learn how with this free whitepaper http://www.infectionpreventiontextiles.com/download-whitepaper.php

X-STATIC® is among 100 Infection Prevention Products to Know

Becker’s Hospital Review recently published its list of Top 100 Infection Prevention Products to know! The list outlines products according to category and is a great resource for both the seasoned and novice infection preventionist alike.

X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology was featured as a must-know product in the textiles category. Textiles, or soft surfaces, in healthcare are often overlooked when it comes to infection prevention, despite recent attention from regulatory agencies.  For example, in one recent survey of infection preventionists, 96 percent used privacy curtains in patient rooms, but 37 percent changed them “only when visibly soiled.” In addition, some changed curtains only every three months or once per year!

It’s important to address these soft surfaces –privacy curtains, uniforms, lab coats and bed linens – in a more complete prevention program to effectively break the chain of infection.  Healthcare fabrics powered by X-STATIC® are safe, continuously active surfaces that work to reduce the amount of bacteria in the environment.

Have questions? Please contact us at info(at)x-static.com.

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1. DeAngelis DL, Khakoo, R. DeAngeleis, D.L. Hospital Privacy Curtains: Cleaning and Changing Policies – Are We Doing Enough? American Journal of Infection Control. 2013;41.6:S33.

X-STATIC® ANTIMICROBIAL TECHNOLOGY CALLS FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS

X-STATIC® Leads Charge to Prove Soft Surface Fabrics Are Essential for a More Complete Infection Prevention Program

Noble Biomaterials, Inc., manufacturer of X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology announced a call for research proposals to generate hard evidence supporting the need for soft surface bacterial management in healthcare settings. The call for proposals comes after newly released recommendations from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) shed light on the issue of contaminated healthcare personnel apparel in the hospital environment.

“Our vision to be the premier provider of bacterial management solutions for healthcare includes supporting the industry to generate the evidence-based practice it needs,” said Karin Mueller, Vice President of Marketing at Noble. “We expect our infection prevention partners to hold us to that standard and we’re equipped to meet and exceed those expectations.”

There are numerous studies proving healthcare fabrics such as privacy curtains, lab coats, scrubs and linens, are contaminated with dangerous bacteria and that contamination occurs quickly after laundering1. However, the SHEA Expert guidance describes certain research gaps needed to drive facilities to address this issue.

Noble pledges to support two such areas: the role attire (and additional healthcare fabrics) plays in the transmission of pathogens and its impact on healthcare associated infections (HAIs), as well as the impact of antimicrobial fabrics on the level of bacteria associated with those fabrics and a cost/benefit analysis of using these as a permanent solution. Healthcare systems and researchers interested in working with Noble are encouraged to submit proposals to research@x-static.com.

X-STATIC® is an EPA registered, silver based antimicrobial solution proven to reduce 99.9% of bacteria on the surface of fabrics within one hour2. Products powered by X-STATIC® are protected by a layer of 99.9 percent pure metallic silver. The silver is bonded with textile fibers through a proprietary process and woven into finished products to create an ionic shield that inhibits the growth of bacteria on the surface of the fabric. It provides permanent protection between launderings, lasts the life of the product and since the antimicrobial is inherent in the fabric, it does not require modification in staff behavior. X-STATIC® has undergone extensive safety testing and is used by Olympic athletes, elite military forces, NASA astronauts and many of the world’s premier consumer brands.

About Noble Biomaterials, Inc.
X-STATIC® is a registered trademark of Noble Fiber Technologies, LLC. Headquartered in Scranton, PA, Noble Biomaterials, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets advanced antimicrobial technologies designed to manage all forms of bacterial contamination. It has more than 200 global licensees for products in the medical, defense, industrial and consumer markets and the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Scranton, PA, with offices in Europe, Asia and South America.

1Luebbert, P. Soft Surface Bacterial Contamination: Considerations for a Complete Infection Prevention Program. http://www.infectionpreventiontextiles.com/download-whitepaper.php
2Data on file at Noble Biomaterials.

Nurse Angels Clothing Company, LLC Partners With X-STATIC® Technology to Provide Affordable and Fashionable Antimicrobial Apparel

SCRANTON, PA – Nurse Angels Clothing Company LLC™, manufacturer of WINGS™ brand professional medical apparel announced a partnership with Noble Biomaterials to incorporate X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology in its new line of scrubs, lab coats, bed linens and patient apparel. The new WINGS™ apparel line includes a unique jumpsuit style uniform to help nurses bring fashion to the workplace.

“Studies show that multi-drug resistant bacteria can live on fabrics and, as a nurse, I think about how few of us change out of our uniforms before leaving work to head home or to the grocery store or shopping mall,” said Robyn Stephens, RN, BSN, and Managing Partner of Nurse Angels Clothing Company LLC as well as a Clinical Nurse Manager for several departments in a Kansas City metropolitan hospital. “WINGS™ clothing by X-STATIC® technology will ensure our customers not only look great and feel comfortable, but also provide a way to protect their patients and families from infection.”

X-STATIC® is the premier technology for antimicrobial fabrics and is a registered antimicrobial agent with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The proprietary technology permanently bonds textile fibers with a layer of 99.9 percent pure metallic silver. The silver fibers are woven directly into finished fabrics creating am ionic shield which prevents the growth of bacteria directly on the surface of the fabric. It.is the active ingredient in both FDA-registered and CE-approved products for advanced wound care and has undergone extensive safety testing. In addition to its use in healthcare settings, it is used by Olympic athletes, elite military forces, NASA astronauts and many of the world’s premier consumer brands.

Robyn Stephens, designer of WINGS is inspired by her experiences as a Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Manager. For more information, visit http://www.nurseangelsclothing.com, follow @NurseAngels2010 on Twitter or like Nurse Angels Clothing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NurseAngelsClothing.

X-STATIC® is a registered trademark of Noble Fiber Technologies, LLC. Noble Biomaterials, Inc. is a global leader in bacterial management solutions. Noble is a strategic partner of APIC and works closely with the infection prevention community toward the common goal of reducing healthcare associated infections. It has more than 200 global licensees for products in the medical, defense, industrial and consumer markets and the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Scranton, PA, with global offices in Europe, Asia and South America. For more information, visit www.InfectionPreventionTextiles.com, “like” X-STATIC on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @XStaticFiber.

Soft Surface Fabrics Identified as a Priority for Infection Prevention In Recent Issue of Healthcare Purchasing News

February’s issue of Healthcare Purchasing News discusses contaminated soft surfaces as an important part of improving environmental hygiene and creating a more effective infection prevention program. On the heels of a recent announcement from the Society of Epidemiology of America (SHEA) concerning healthcare personnel attire, this continues the drive toward better addressing soft surfaces fabrics in facilities nationwide.

While many regulatory guidelines and recommendations are outdated for soft surfaces, the recent attention SHEA has given to this issue points us in a promising direction.In a previous post, we talked about how establishing a baseline and conducting an assessment of soft surfaces can get you started on the right track toward incorporating them into a more complete infection prevention protocol.

The article from HPN also profiled several solutions available to healthcare facilities today including X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology.It’s important to choose a product that is EPA-registered and provides a permanent solution through continuous antimicrobial activity. A permanent solution will remove staff compliance issues. To view this entire article, please visit http://www.hpnonline.com/inside/2014-02/1402-IP-SoftSurface.html.

SHEA Releases New Guidance for Healthcare Personnel Attire

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) recently issued new guidance on attire worn by personnel in healthcare facilities. SHEA’s recommendations concluded “attire should attempt to balance professional appearance, comfort, and practicality with the potential role of apparel in the cross-transmission of pathogens.”The organization called for more clinical studies to determine the relationship between attire and healthcare associated infections (HAIs), however noted several studies that demonstrate various types of attire can be contaminated. Find the full guidance “Healthcare Personnel Attire in Non-Operating-Room Settings”published in the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/675066

This guidance is an important step in updating regulations concerning soft surface fabrics, but more work is needed.SHEA discusses daily laundering and a “bare-below-the-elbows” approach for attire. However,additional studies have shown heavy contamination of pockets as well. Other soft surface fabrics such as privacy curtains and bed linens have also proven to be fomites and healthcare staff should be educated on the risks associated with touching these surfaces before touching a patient.Laundering daily is certainly essential, but fabrics are rapidly contaminated after being put back in use, so this is also not the only line of defense. It is clear soft surface fabrics need to have a place in a comprehensive infection prevention program to effectively break the chain of transmission.

We can all agree that cleaner hospitals and safer hospitals. X-STATIC® is committed to providing research support and generating the evidence-based practice needed to stir facilities to action. Products powered by X-STATIC®are proven to permanently and continuously reduce bacteria on the surface of fabrics. This coupled with proper hand hygiene and hard surface disinfection will reduce the bacteria load in the direct patient environment.

For a review of clinical research on soft surface fabrics, download these comprehensive whitepapers. http://www.infectionpreventiontextiles.com/download-whitepaper.php

Promise Hospital in San Diego Addresses Contamination of Soft Surface Fabrics

Did you catch the recent article in Infection Control Today profiling one facility’s work on soft surface fabrics? Infection Preventionist Victor Lange at Promise Hospital in San Diego, California describes the importance of the patient environment in the transmission of infection, but recognized that soft surface fabrics are often overlooked in determining the source of those infections. Because of this, the facility decided to look at one type of fabric that comes in direct and almost constant contact with the patient – their pillows.

Lange and his team conducted a study that showed recently disinfected hospital pillows may not be very clean after all. The researchers swabbed 100 “patient-ready” reusable vinyl-covered pillows over a five-week span. The subsequent analysis showed 38 percent were contaminated with pathogens including MRSA, VRE, E. faecalis, E. coli, P. stuartii, and Yeast, among others. The hospital is taking steps to address the issue including reviewing products with an embedded antimicrobial.

It’s essential that we collectively recognize the important role fabrics play in contributing to overall bioburden in the patient environment. Effectively breaking the chain of infection requires a complete infection prevention program addressing all potential bacteria reservoirs.

Have you recently looked at contamination of pillows or bedding in your facility? Are you concerned about contamination of other types of fabrics? Let us know in the comment section!

Evaluation of Infection Prevention Procedures and Establishing a Baseline: Important Steps to Reduce Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs)

A new survey published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) reveals that evaluation of current infection prevention policies, and staff adherence to those policies, can reveal gaps in practice and opportunities for improving patient safety.  According to the authors of the article, establishing a baseline is important in determining where to apply interventions as well as for evaluating success. They go on to state, “We believe that identifying the gaps and addressing them as a system will help lead to marked improvements in safety for our patients.”[1]

Infection preventionists and quality and safety directors should consider all aspects of the healthcare environment when reviewing procedures. While this article does not specifically look at standards for fabrics in the patient care environment (i.e., lab coats, privacy curtains, bed linens), leaving these out could be potentially dangerous.  Studies have identified gram positive bacteria, including those that are multi-drug resistant, can survive on cotton and polyester – common materials for healthcare fabrics.[2] Moreover, high touch surfaces such as privacy curtains represent a greater risk due to infrequent changing and laundering. A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Infection Control identified 92 percent of privacy curtains sampled were contaminated within one week and “eight curtains yielded VRE at multiple time points: 3 with persistence of a single isolate type and 5 with different types, suggesting frequent recontamination.”[3]

Healthcare fabrics have been proven to be contaminated and deserve as much attention as other fomites such as hard surfaces and hands. A thorough evaluation of current practice regarding product selection, laundering and staff behavior is an important first step in identifying areas for improvement. For instance, the infection preventionist could assess procedures for laundering different types of fabrics in the facility, including frequency, staff responsibility and reporting/tracking. Moreover, an assessment of healthcare workers’ understanding of the dangers of contaminated fabrics could help facilities understand education needs in this area. If staff is not thinking about fabrics and a clean hand pulls back a contaminated privacy curtain or reaches into a dirty pocket before touching a patient, the risk for cross contamination is still present. For a comprehensive look at the contamination of fabrics and how to conduct a risk assessment, download our new whitepaper.

Ninety percent of the patient care environment is made up of healthcare fabrics. Products powered by X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology are an effective solution to continuously protect the fabrics that surround healthcare patients and staff. X-STATIC® embeds fabrics with a layer of 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. The technology is used for mission critical healthcare applications, including advanced wound care, infection control and odor elimination. X-STATIC® is a registered antimicrobial agent with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the active ingredient in both FDA-registered and CE-approved products for advanced wound care and has undergone extensive safety testing.

 


[1]  Evaluation of Hospital Infection Prevention Policies Can Identify Opportunities for Improvement. Accessed November, 22, 2013. http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2013/10/evaluation-of-hospital-infection-prevention-policies-can-identify-opportunities-for-improvement.aspx

[2] Neely AN and Maley MP. Survival of enterococci and staphylococci on hospital fabrics and

plastic. J Clin Micro. Vol. 38, No. 2. February 2000. Pp. 724-726.

[3] Ohl et al. Hospital privacy curtains are frequently and rapidly contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria. Am J of Inf Control. Online publication. 2012 http://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553%2812%2900070-3/abstract