Rich Feczko: National Director, Systems, Standards, Innovation & Global Support
Speaking From Experience
We all worry about patient health and safety – but it really hits home when any of our family members need medical care at a hospital.
During the past two years, three of my family members – including my father – have been admitted to a hospital for significant medical treatment. So, I realize first-hand the importance of stopping healthcare associated infection (HAIs), which affect about one in 25 hospital patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
To reduce these infections, we’ve recently added another solution to our arsenal in the hopes of stopping them in one of the most likely places – bed mattresses. After an extensive review and evaluation, Crothall has selected Trinity Guardion's flagship product, the Soteria™ Bed Barrier, to help our environmental services teams mitigate HAI in hospital environments.
Every patient uses a mattress and mattress cover, putting them at the top of the list of extremely high touch surfaces in any hospital – and therefore surfaces that can spread disease. The Soteria™ Bed Barrier is a breathable mattress and bed deck barrier. The mattress, bed deck barrier and pillowcase are made of a high-tech breathable fabric that blocks fluid, soils and microbes from passing through in either direction. It is applied to a patient bed immediately before patient admission and removed immediately after discharge.
We made our decision after reviewing existing data on this issue. As of early 2018, 29 studies document that cleaned/disinfected mattresses are still contaminated after terminal cleaning, and 12 studies document mattress failures while still in use. As part of its Top 10 list of health technology hazards, the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to patient care, finds that bed mattresses are the second leading cause of spreading HAIs. So-called “clean” mattresses can ooze body fluids onto patients. That’s alarming!
According to ECRI’s findings, blood and other body fluids that remain on, or within, mattresses or mattress covers after cleaning can contact subsequent patients, posing an infection risk. Reported incidents include patients lying on an apparently clean bed or stretcher when blood from a previous patient oozed out of the surface onto the patient.
Over the past several years, our approach to mitigating HAI risk has focused heavily on high-touch surfaces and elevating our efforts to support patient health and safety. This effort has led to much more aggressive inspections of mattresses to optimize our focus and support of the facilities as part of our commitment to healing. The Soteria barrier solution adds and furthers supports our commitment.
Trinity Guardion says its product will protect current patients from previous bed occupants and is shown to do the following:
- Reduce rates of a type of bacteria called C-diff 50%. C diff, or clostridium difficile, can cause colitis.
- Offers a significantly shorter bed turnover time;
- Requires no damaging hard-surface disinfectants for mattress cleaning;
- Provides a unique barcoded inspection and documentation process performed by laundry staff;
- Can extend the useful life and integrity of patient mattresses.
The use of this new product fits perfectly with our “Five Pillar” strategy to reduce HAIs. In our white paper, titled The Five Pillar Strategy to Reduce HAI Incidence, we discuss the formation of strategic partnerships to access cutting-edge technology.
Working with Crothall, suppliers test products and gather data about specific products that can be effective in this fight. Trinity Guardion is one of our key partners that tests and analyzes products so we can provide hospitals with an innovative set of solutions for specific issues and the overall prevention of HAIs.
In addition to improving patient safety, use of this new product will help our clients reduce costs of replacing mattresses and mattress covers. We plan to begin using it immediately in hospitals across the country including in high-risk patient units. The product is designed to maintain its effectiveness through up to 200 laundry cycles with high heat and chlorine bleach. We’re confident the product can be properly cleaned to protect new patients.
As the leader in healthcare support services, the decision to use Soteria Bed Barrier fits with our drive to never accept the status quo.
Crothall was the first in the industry to standardize the use of ultraviolet (UV) technology. Crothall quickly identified UV as an innovation to destroy microorganisms and fight HAIs. After passing Crothall due diligence standards UV was added to the protocols. First, as part of the hospital patient room or operating room terminal disinfection process, the room is manually cleaned and disinfected. Then, UV technology is launched, with the Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) destroying airborne and surface microorganisms.
As we escalate the use of the Trinity product throughout hospitals across the country, we will share data and performance outcomes. We are hopeful it will be the latest product to have a significant impact on reducing HAIs.
Check out other ways Crothall is creating a culture of safety.
Crothall was the first in the industry to standardize the use of ultraviolet (UV) technology. Crothall quickly identified UV as an innovation to destroy microorganisms and fight HAIs.