Disinfectant-Ready Housing vs. Anti-Microbial Plastics
There is a current trend towards the use of antimicrobial materials in healthcare products. These products are marketed as inhibiting the growth of mold and bacteria on the product’s surface for the life of the product. Anti-bacterial or anti-microbial additives into healthcare products can give end users the impression that the products perform “better” than comparable products without this labeling. However, the CDC notes, ‘No evidence is available to suggest that use of these products will make consumers and patients healthier or prevent disease… No data supports the use of these items as part of a sound infection control strategy.’ The CDC’s “Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health Care Facilities” reiterate, ‘cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces as appropriate is fundamental in reducing their potential contribution to the incidence of healthcare-associated infections.’
Hospitals must address this increasing concern over infectious agents that cause disease or illness, leading to the use of strong cleaners to disinfect their data collection hardware including barcode scanners, printers and mobile computers. Data collection hardware and equipment needs to be designed specifically for use at the point-of-care—where infection controls are critical. The use of anti-microbial additives in data collection hardware sounds appealing; however, it does not eliminate the need for such products to be cleaned routinely.
The Disinfectant-Ready Housing foundcleaning scanner in certain healthcare equipment along with a protocol of frequent cleaning allows healthcare professionals to minimize the spread of infectious diseases while administering medication to patients, resulting in improved accuracy and patient safety, and a lower total cost of ownership.