With the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections, the healthcare community needs to look at every single surface as a potential conduit of infection. In our last blog post, we discussed three major trends that will impact the use of antimicrobials in healthcare this year: designing for infection prevention, antimicrobials and permanent implants and 3D printing technologies. Today, we’re going to walk through the final two trends featured in our paper, “A Glimpse into the Future: The Use of Antimicrobials in Healthcare in 2016.”
Trend #4: Reevaluating the Safety of Reusable Devices: The news has been riddled with stories of deadly healthcare-associated infection (HAI) outbreaks linked to endoscopes or with study findings linking HPV to “disinfected” ultrasound wands. Reusable devices in the healthcare setting, once thought to be safe after standard disinfection, have proved to be gateways for dangerous bacteria. Testing for the presence of bacteria on these devices takes time – and any delay in healthcare could mean life or death. This year, the industry will see a sharp rise in the availability of antimicrobial-embedded reusable devices in hospitals, doctors’ offices and clinics.
Trend #5: Protecting ALL Surfaces, Not Just Devices: The truth of the matter is that simple disinfection guidelines are not cutting it for infection prevention. While the use of embedded antimicrobials in medical devices has increased in popularity over the last few years, healthcare organizations need to take major strides to protect more surfaces in 2016. This will be most notable in patient rooms, which have been show to act as harbingers of infection. Hospitals will start looking for products like antimicrobial-embedded doorknobs, bedrails, tables and even ductwork for air conditioning. Antimicrobial-embedded surfaces will also be more readily adopted in the OR, acting as a second line of defense for infection prevention.
As the war against antibiotic-resistant infections continues, antimicrobials will play a much bigger role in healthcare in 2016 and beyond.
To learn more about all of the biggest trends impacting antimicrobials and healthcare this year, download our paper, “A Glimpse into the Future: The Use of Antimicrobials in Healthcare in 2016” below.