Rethinking Hospital Design

Choosing to incorporate an innovative and antimicrobial construction material will help in the fight bacteria* that pose risk to patient health.

Implementing proper patient safety practices is on the agenda of all healthcare facilities. The construction material used for hospital touch surfaces is often overlooked and disregarded as a key player in the fight against bacteria*.

Bacteria can reside for weeks and even months on stainless steel and plastic surfaces, thus becoming a threat to patient safety in the hospital.

Infection control and patient safety are multifaceted challenges.  Modern hospital designs that incorporate Antimicrobial Copper offer a passive system to protect patients and healthcare workers from bacteria*.  Antimicrobial Copper surfaces must be cleaned regularly and are a supplement to, not a substitute for, hand washing and standard infection control practices.


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Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.

Some specific copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is important that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.

*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. Antimicrobial copper surfaces are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination or infections; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices.