Healthcare Furniture That Helps Prevent Infections
In the past, aesthetics and price were the main force in the furnishing of hospital waiting room areas and inpatient rooms. Nevertheless, when equipping hospitals of today, attention has moved from what pleases the eye, to what helps in the struggle against healthcare-associated infections.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections hospital patients obtain in the hospital while undergoing medical procedures. An estimated 722,000 Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) happen in U.S. hospitals every year, and over 10% of those patients die during their hospitalizations. In an effort to fight these infections, hospitals execute prevention methods.
These prevention practices involve buying the right type of hospital furniture for the healthcare ecosystem. Since most HAIs are spread through contact with microbe-infected hospital devices, executing uniquely designed furniture can decrease these infections by 70 percent. However, within this new system, what makes a piece of furniture “the right kind” to perform a part in infection control?
For Starters, Its Materials.
When chairs are covered in conventional fabrics, bodily fluids or spills may leak right into the foam and become a breeding ground for germs. Nevertheless, should hospital furniture be covered with appropriate material, the risk of HAIs declines. Vinyls and polyurethanes are both impervious to liquids — guaranteeing the foam within stays shielded — and considerably reduces the risk of infection through environmental microbial transmission.
In addition to vinyls and polyurethanes, another suitable fabric option for healthcare furniture includes Crypton, a blended, water-resistant upholstery. Along with Crypton, Nano-Tex, an upholstery line that offers a spill and stain-resistant coating, and DuraBlock, a moisture barrier that goes under regular upholstery, are convenient alternatives efficient in blocking moisture from reaching the foam.
Since resistant organisms can live for months on inanimate surfaces if not washed correctly, materials used in healthcare furniture need to be easy to clean and sanitize. Yet, not all surfaces are agreeable with hospital-grade disinfectants, and most materials break down when exposed to harsh sterilization products. To fight infection materials need to be made or covered with fluid-resistant, non-porous fabrics like metal and solid plastics. These stop bleach cleaners from cracking and splitting the surface.
Though new technologies are being produced that allow permeable surfaces, such as wood, to be treated with bacteria-fighting silver ions, for the time being, hospitals are sticking with non-porous fabrics.
Aside From Materials, Healthcare Furniture’s Overall Design Is Taken Into Account.
Healthcare seating needs to have an open wipe-out space between the seat and back so anything from bodily fluids to a regular garbage can be easily wiped to the floor, blocking the buildup of germs and bacteria within the space at the back.
For infection control objectives, chair arms are covered with nonporous materials, such as urethane arm caps. Unlike wood and upholstered arm caps, they are remarkably easy to clean and are the best alternative for keeping chair arms from becoming a highly contaminated area.
Healthcare furniture may not be top of the mind when patients enter a medical center or hospital, but whether or not they know it, beds and chairs play a fearless role during their stay. Their part in the battle against health-care-associated infections may not get sufficient credit, but that’s alright. Some heroes prefer to stay anonymous.
Cubicle Office Furniture Store (COFS) free space planning service helps you buy hospital furniture that meets all of the needs of your patients and guests. Rather than buying individual items based on features alone, COFS urges you to take a practical strategy to whole room design. Examine what happens in each area of your healthcare facility, and buy only those pieces that directly promote those activities. Never buy healthcare furniture on features alone without thinking of the real, functional benefits that a selective furnishing offers to the individual. Get a clear picture of how each piece of hospital furniture works to improve the patient experience and find items in our collection that fit your budget without jeopardizing human well being.
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