Health on the Surface: The Key to Safer Spaces


Never in our lifetime has staying safe become such a huge focus, especially in healthcare. The ongoing pandemic has created the need for social distancing, face masks, and constant, thorough cleaning of highly touchable surfaces at all healthcare facilities. Surfaces located in patient-care areas are problematic if not properly cleaned and disinfected.  

But you might not know that some surfaces are more susceptible to microorganisms, making them difficult to clean. The very nature of their materials and condition can potentially reduce safety for everyone. In medical spaces, the result can contribute to health care-association infections, known as HAIs. So, how do you win the war of keeping surfaces clean and safe? 

Fighting HAIs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines HAIs as the type of infections patients contract while receiving care for other conditions. Unfortunately, getting infected can happen at any healthcare facility including patient rooms, surgery centers, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.  

HAIs are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or less-common pathogens. And these infections can be dangerous, affecting 1 in 25 patients. They cause substantial medical as well as emotional and financial harm. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion estimates that tens of thousands die each year as a result and costs “the U.S. health care system billions of dollars…”

A white hospital atrium with people sitting on lounge sofas

 

Environmental cleaning strategies are crucial

The CDC’s Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities emphasizes the importance of proper cleaning of medical equipment and surfaces. Disinfecting is necessary due to microorganisms that may be present. The type of microorganisms depends on several factors including how many people are in the area, what activities are taking place, moisture content, and the type of surface.  

Many microorganisms are removed from surfaces by scrubbing with detergent and surface-active agents, then rinsing.  Keeping these surfaces disinfected takes into consideration the potential and frequency of direct patient contact and contamination due to “body substances or environmental sources.” 

But what about hard-to-clean or damaged surfaces that may make continuous disinfecting a real challenge?  

The right surfaces help reduce infection

Not all surfaces are created equal. Damaged surfaces, whether by activities, scrubbing, or harsh chemicals, are more likely to harbor microorganisms and make cleaning difficult. In addition, surface materials that are porous, maintain moisture, are organic, easily scratched, or hard to clean can contribute to unsafe conditions for patients, staff, and others.  

It may be necessary to take inventory of all surfaces that indicate wear and tear, are organic in nature, or appear to be physically damaged. Replacing compromised surfaces on commonly used tables, walls, and wall panels used in patient rooms, operating rooms, food processing areas, medical facility corridors, elevators, and public restrooms will help keep people safe. 

A clean surface

It’s not by accident that PolyVision created Hygienic CeramicSteel. With the addition of Silver Ion Technology, silver microparticles gradually release silver ions, which actively work to help keep the surface clean throughout the product’s lifetime. These silver particles are safe and non-transferable from the surface. This advanced technology helps to stop the spread of germs in their tracks. The Hygienic CeramicSteel surface is tested to meet safety guidelines. 

Healthcare reception area with computers, notice boards, and storage cabinets

Ideal for demanding environments

Especially now, cleanliness is critical to the healthcare industry and other public areas. This is the reason Hygienic CeramicSteel was designed to stay clean. It provides the perfect alternative for use in, not only healthcare facilities, but for workplaces, schools, airports, public restrooms, and more.  

In addition, there are many uses for CeramicSteel including desk dividers, tabletops, modular walls, architectural wall panels, clean room walls, Collaborative Worktools, and elevator vestibules.  

Hygienic CeramicSteel is odorless and colorless and has a surface lifetime warranty. Materials are also environmentally safe. But the best part is the resilient quality of both the surface and silver micro particles. Hygienic CeramicSteel will not incur damage from repeated cleaning and disinfecting, even using highly potent cleaning solutions.  

Open office plan with benching systems and desk privacy screens

Better safe than sorry

We live in a time when safety is paramount. Keeping surfaces safe cannot be minimized when everyone’s health is at stake. Starting with strategies that include the right surface materials can help reduce the chance of infection and make our world a better, cleaner place to live.  

 

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