Sentara Halifax Deploys Copper Products
Textiles and hard surfaces designed to control infections
Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital is excited to announce that it has begun using copper-infused linens and patient gowns in all inpatient rooms to reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Patients will notice that the copper-infused linens have a distinctive tan or salmon color. The hospital will also be retrofitting all inpatient rooms with copper-infused bedside tables and bed handrails later in the year.
The switch to copper-infused products is based on a 10-month clinical trial conducted at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia. It was the world’s largest clinical trial testing the use of copper against healthcare-associated infections. The trial determined that hard surfaces and linens infused with copper oxide compounds contributed to a significant reduction in C.Diff and multi-drug resistant organisms. These results occurred in a hospital with a robust protocol for managing infection risk certified by the healthcare accrediting body DNV-GL Healthcare.
The results of the trial were published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Infection Control on Sept. 28, 2016 and presented at the annual conference of the Infectious Disease Society of America on October 26, 2016. Sentara, an integrated, not-for-profit healthcare system, is making the change to copper-infused products in all 12 of its hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina.
“This change to using copper oxide-infused linens and hard surfaces in inpatient rooms is in keeping with the Sentara commitment to provide the safest high-quality care to our patients,” said Chris Lumsden, president, Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital. “Our incidence of healthcare-associated infections already outperforms many hospitals across the nation. We’re firmly committed to a patient-centered approach to care with patient safety at the forefront every day. We are a leader in patient safety and this change is one of the most significant developments in our ongoing vigilance against infection that we’ve seen in a number of years.”
Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital is confident that this change, coupled with the rigorous infection control practices already in place, will serve to further protect patients from potential HAIs.
“The incidence of healthcare-associated infections is a source of serious concern to healthcare providers nationwide, so this new technology is very promising,” said Meredith Weddle, infection control practitioner, Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital. “Copper is not a substitute for implementing a rigorous infection prevention program in the hospital, but it is one more tool, and a very vital one, to help us provide the kind of safe, quality care our patients expect of us.”