Register
 (photo: /pexels-photo-263210)
22.03.2018, 15:32

Door Hardware in the Battle Against Infection Control

Healthcare & Educational Facilities, White Papers & Briefings, Healthcare, EMEA
The risk of cross-contamination in hospitals needs to be minimised by tackling threats to a sterile working environment at their source. Allegion UK's Karen Trigg explains how selecting the right door hardware.

Maintaining cleanliness in healthcare facilities is fundamental to the health and safety of patients.


In the United Kingdom where the National Health Service (NHS) processes over 1 million patients every 36 hours, minimum standards of hygiene for hospitals, GP and dental surgeries, and other care facilities are stipulated by the The Care Quality Commission (CQC).


With constant foot traffic within their facilities, healthcare officials should give appropriate thought to how they can minimise the risk of infection spreading, and an oft-overlooked measure that can be included as part of a hygiene-management strategy, is the installation of door hardware which includes additional infection-control features.


 

Where bacteria thrive 

Contact surfaces in medical and nursing facilities is one of the prime causes of the spread of infection.  In fact, around 80 per cent of infections are transmitted through our environment, whether that’s in the air we breathe or the surfaces we touch.

 

Combatting cross-contamination is a constant battle within healthcare facilities and, unsuprisingly, door hardware - whether handles or the door itself - is one of the most common harbourers of harmful bacteria. Touched hundreds of times a day by staff, visitors and patients alike – and encouraged by warm surroundings – bacteria can thrive on door handles, grabrails and other contact surfaces.

 

Whilst washing hands or using hand sanitizer helps this problem to some extent, it’s not enough to keep the spread of harmful bacteria under complete control.

 

Mirco organisms are known to survive on surfaces like handles for extended periods of time.  This can be especially worrying in hospital enviroments where some patients have immune dificiencies.


Anti-microbial door hardware ultimately tackles the problem at the source, helping to eliminate the issue at the point where it’s most likely to snow-ball.

 


The science behind the solution

The introduction of door hardware with in-built anti-bacterial protection such as exit devices, door handles and sanitary fittings is helping the healthcare sector in the battle against the spreading of germs and bugs.

 

So how do these incredibly convenient solutions work?

 

Nutrients made available in the environment provide bacteria the materials needed to form new protoplasm, helping them to multiply.

 

Anti-microbial door hardware solutions use an anti-microbial coating to prevent the multiplication of bacteria. Made using ionic silver (AG+), the coating used on these solutions are specially formulated to inhibit the growth of bacteria by interrupting their cell multiplication.

 

The ionic silver coatings interact with the bonding sites on the microbe surface. The result being that the silver ions surround bacterial cells, blocking food and slowing the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.

 

Alternatively for nylon products, antibacterial protection is either incorporated into the scratch-resistent powder coating or impregnated into the polymer structure of the nylon during manufacture, meaning it cannot be wiped or washed off, and remains active for the lifetime of the product.

 

Put simply, the anti-microbial materials engrained into the hardware are used as a way to reduce the spread of infectious bacteria, lowering the risk of infection via cross-contamination.

 

 

 

Safe and accessible environments

It’s clear that healthcare providers have special requirements when creating safe and secure envionments for the people that visit or work in their facilities.

 

Fitting door hardware with anti-microbial protection can optimise a safer and cleaner environment by inhibiting the growth of bacteria on high-touch surface areas, and when antibacterial technology is combined with conventional cleaning methods, it helps to improve standards of hygiene and offers added protection whenever it is used.

 

Whilst hospitals put particular emphasis on maintaining a clean environment via hand-sanitisers and routinely cleaning, it can be difficult to keep track of the places susceptible to high levels of bacteria build-up.

 

What’s more, when it’s something you can’t physically see, it can often be mistaken as not being there.

 

Ultimately, a cleaner and healthier facility is likely to provide added benefits of improved patient outcomes, patient satisfaction and even staff satisfaction and productivity.

 



Sources 

http://www.cqc.org.uk/what-we-do/how-we-do-our-job/fundamental-standards 

http://www.nhsconfed.org/resources/key-statistics-on-the-nhs 

https://www.cleanlink.com/sm/article/Preventing-Cross-Contamination-A-Prescription-for-Clean--3582 

https://www.lsamichigan.org/Tech/VonDuprin-AntimicrobialCoatings.pdf

 

Karen Trigg

About Karen Trigg

Article rating:

vote data

 (photo: Rentokil Initial plc)
News Editor  - 01.03.2018, 08:30

Strong Growth from Rentokil Initial

FTSE 100 business services group Rentokil Initial has announced revenue growth of 14.5 per cent and on-going operating profits of 14.8 per cent in preliminary results for the year ended 31 December...

(Photograph courtesy of Tookapic). (photo: )
Marissa Francis  - 05.03.2018, 17:13

The Definition of 'Clever'

Marissa Francis, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Improver with ABM UK, explains why university isn't the only route into facilities management.

New chargepoint installation at Southampton Airport. (photo: Southampton Airport)
AGS Airports  - 26.03.2018, 11:30

Southampton Airport Adds EV Chargepoints

Southampton Airport is helping power the growing number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers on UK roads with the installation of seven new Pod Point 7kW chargepoints in its short stay and priority...

(Photograph courtesy of Tookapic). (photo: )
Marissa Francis  - 05.03.2018, 17:13

The Definition of 'Clever'

Marissa Francis, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Improver with ABM UK, explains why university isn't the only route into facilities management.

New chargepoint installation at Southampton Airport. (photo: Southampton Airport)
AGS Airports  - 26.03.2018, 11:30

Southampton Airport Adds EV Chargepoints

Southampton Airport is helping power the growing number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers on UK roads with the installation of seven new Pod Point 7kW chargepoints in its short stay and priority...

Pictured (Left to Right): Holly Rossington, BSI Electrical Certification Team Leader, Steve Davies, LIA CEO, Rob Lee, BSI Media Production Manager. (photo: Lighting Industry Association (LIA))
The Lighting Industry Association (The LIA)  - 14.08.2018, 15:46

BSI Kitemark for Commercial Lighting Webinar

A recording of a webinar on the BSI (British Standards Institute) Kitemark™ for Commercial Lighting which was presented jointly with the Lighting Industry Association (LIA), is now available to...

 (photo: Association of Noise Consultants (ANC))
Association of Noise Consultants (ANC)  - 14.08.2018, 15:28

Careers in Acoustics

ANC, the Association of Noise Consultants, has launched a new online initiative to attract more students into acoustics.