Sentara Healthcare, Cupron, EOS Surfaces and Encompass Group are joining together to evaluate the clinical and economic effectiveness of deploying antimicrobial copper-based hard surfaces and textiles in a range of healthcare environments.
This comprehensive program is believed to be the worlds largest hospital evaluation to-date of antimicrobial-protected materials, with the goal of combating the spread of pathogens that are known to contribute to healthcare infections. Cupron-Enhanced EOS Surfaces and Cupron-enhanced textiles will be evaluated at multiple sites, including a new 250-bed acute-care facility, to assess the improvement of patient outcomes and the reduction of healthcare costs.
This large-scale program will include the installation of more than 15,000 horizontal square feet of patent-pending Cupron-Enhanced EOS Surfaces. The antimicrobial hard surfaces will be installed on virtually all clinical and patient room surfaces. Textiles manufactured by the Encompass Group will be used for patient bed linens, patient gowns and other textiles.
The trial will initiate this April at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, followed by a large-scale study that will take place at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk, Va., where a series of acute care towers are now under construction. The first Cupron-enhanced units are slated to open in Q4 2013. The existing acute care tower without any Cupron-enhanced surfaces or textiles will serve as the comparative. Additional studies are planned for various long-term care facilities and outpatient centers.
Sentara is pleased to become the first large-scale deployment of these advanced antimicrobial materials, says Dr. Gene Burke, vice president of clinical effectiveness for Sentara. Over the years, Sentara has implemented many advanced practices in an effort to minimize hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) at our facilities and we believe that new technologies, such as the Cupron-enhanced materials, have the potential to create another layer of protection in this very important effort.
Sentara has received national recognition in recent years for its efforts to improve patient care and reduce infections. National quality leaders such as VHA have blueprinted Sentara practices at reducing, and in some cases, eliminating ventilator-associated pneumonia. In addition, Sentara hospitals have been recognized for work in its ICUs to reduce central line bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections.
We are increasingly realizing that there are processes and technologies that are effective at reducing and possibly eliminating some of these infections once believed to be an inevitable part of the healthcare experience, Burke adds.
Approximately 7 million people worldwide acquire a hospital-acquired infection each year, says Paul Rocheleau, chairman of Cupron. Despite aggressive monitoring, hand washing campaigns and other infection control measures, HAI rates, especially those caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens,
are unacceptably high worldwide and in the United States. The Sentara program, supported by EOS Surfaces and Encompass Group, will hopefully be one of the first steps to define a new level of patient care.
We have worked diligently with Cupron in developing this new product and are excited to test its clinical effectiveness and monitor the hopeful difference it can make in a healthcare environment, says Ken Trinder, CEO of EOS Surfaces. The timing of the Sentara program was fortuitous as we have made a
major investment in new manufacturing capabilities, and are rapidly building the network of companies that will play important roles in fabricating countertops, lavatories, furniture and other products that utilize the Cupron-enhanced EOS materials.
Copper surfaces and copper oxide-containing textiles have proven to reduce microbiological burden. When properly manufactured and used, copper and copper compounds can provide a wide spectrum of antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral protection and have also been shown to be effective against hard-to-kill spores.
A small-scale clinical trial with Cupron-enhanced textiles in Israel resulted in significant positive outcomes for chronically ill patients, adding further evidence of the role textiles may have in supporting pathogen transmission. Also, Cupron-Enhanced EOS Surfaces recently received EPA public health registrations to certify the efficacy, durability and ability to continuously kill a range of pathogens. Cupron expects to receive additional public health registrations during 2013.