PROBLEM: Research proves that the bacteria growing in hospital plumbing fixtures are contributing to Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs). Pseudomonas, klebsiella, superbugs, and other bacteria that can lead to outbreaks of pneumonia and other HAIs thrive in the warm, moist environment of hospital wastewater plumbing systems. Hand-washing at the hospital sink contributes to the spread of infection by splashing this bacteria out of the drain and onto staff, patients and supplies.
ANSWER: Safe Health Solutions, LLC (SHS) has developed a revolutionary self-disinfecting sink that will eradicate internal bacterial growth and return sinks to their valued status in combating HAI’s and infections rates.
Infection control is a top priority of every hospital and outbreaks have a significant impact on each facility’s bottom line.
- According to the New England Journal of Medicine, around 1 out of 25 patients in U.S. hospitals contracts an HAI each day. HAIs create significant complications across the continuum of care, contributing to delayed recovery times, increased costs, and patient death.
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics show that of the approximately two million American patients who acquire an HAI annually, an estimated 100,000 will die. The CDC reports that the cost of a single HAI case can range from just under $1,000 to nearly $50,000 depending upon the type of infection — with the direct cost of HAIs to hospitals estimated at between $28 billion and $45 billion.
Safe Health Solutions (SHS) was started by healthcare design and technology professionals concerned about the growing impact of HAIs and ready to find a solution to improving the care environment.
The SHS team’s extensive research and testing helped them understand how hospital wastewater plumbing systems are large, complex waterworks with low-flow areas that produce stagnation and sticky, hard-to-remove biofilm formation. The water in a hospital is designed never to freeze, with average water temperatures in the 70s. This labyrinth of pipes provides dark, moist areas that are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. Moreover, that bacteria does not get “washed away” with cleaning products, as is generally assumed. On the contrary, the resistant bacteria grow up the pipes, toward the sink drains.
This hidden source of contamination was confirmed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a study to understand where germs live in hospitals after an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant infections killed 6 patients at the Clinical Center in 2011-2012. NIH researchers discovered that bacteria and several forms of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ were living in the plumbing and scrubbed out sink drains.