The Laundry Ledger: “Providing New Standards for Healthcare Textile Cleanliness”
Applied Silver, the maker of SilvaClean®, announced a new partnership with Commercial Laundry Specialist (CLS), a specialty laundry service company, to co-market and supply treated textiles to healthcare facilities across Northern California.
SilvaClean is a patented water-based ionic silver treatment, developed at Cal Poly, that provides the highest level of protection to laundered healthcare textiles. SilvaClean works on a wide range of fabric items by imparting lasting antimicrobial properties to the items each time they are laundered, protecting them in transport, storage and use from infection causing bacteria and fungi. These fabric items include multiple key patient and healthcare worker touch points such as patient bedding, gowns, bath towels, worker scrubs and privacy curtains, according to the company.
“SilvaClean reduces more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, virtually eliminating the risk that unhygienic textiles pose to healthcare environments,” said Sean Morham, CEO of Applied Silver. “We are pleased to partner with CLS to offer this new industry standard to healthcare facilities looking for the most cost-effective and persistent way to solve the challenge of textile cleanliness.”
Addressing environmental cleanliness through textiles is a critical health and safety issue for hospitals looking to maintain the confidence of the communities they serve, especially as we near the “end of the road” for antibiotics. Bacteria resistant to antibiotics of “last resort” have now shown up in the US, posing a new and urgent threat given that superbugs such as CRE can kill up to 50 percent of patients who become infected.
In addition, state and federal programs are putting economic pressure on hospitals to meet aggressive targets to reduce hospital acquired infections or risk penalties. For example, under Covered California’s new contract with health plans, hospitals must reduce the number of infections patients acquire or risk exclusion from the exchange.
Published research shows that one-third of the textiles in the hospital studied showed meaningful amounts of the superbug MRSA. Contracting MRSA can increase a patient’s chance of acquiring a staph infection within the following 12 months.
Treating hospital textiles with silver ions (used in SilvaClean) immediately following the washing process results in a significant decrease in microbial contamination, both before and after patient use.
“Previous treatment options have fallen short of comprehensively ensuring hygienically clean textiles over time, and alternatives like disposables are extremely expensive and wasteful, finding their way into landfills. Adding SilvaClean to our certified and validated proprietary laundering processes offers unparalleled infection control with minimal environmental impact at significant cost savings,” said Chris Wanhsiedler, president of CLS.
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 Openshaw, J. J., Morris W. M. , Lowry, G. V., Nazmi, A. (2016, May). A Novel Silver Based Laundry Treatment Reduces Bacterial Contamination of Textiles. Poster presented at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Conference, Atlanta, GA.