How a new hospital gown could prevent infection

Material repels body fluids, dirt

Staff at Baptist Health System in Florida have begun wearing scrubs made out of special material with hopes that the garments will curb the spread of hospital-acquired infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Lisa Robbins reports for First Coast News.

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Baptist Health collaborated with Vestigen technical textiles over the past year to create scrubs out of the highly durable, liquid-repellent material—investing more than $1 million in the process.

"It's about setting a new standard of health care worker safety and patient safety," says Vestigen's Ben Favret, adding that the system is the first to adopt such scrubs.

The hospital also developed a color-coded system of scrubs for various clinicians so patients can easily recognize with staff members are from which departments and provided three sets to each staff member free of charge. Patients will be given gowns made out of the same material come fall, officials say.

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Ashlene Gormley—a nurse at Baptists' Wolfson Children's Hospital—says "working in the newborn ICU, I mean, babies pee on you. They throw up. It's nice to know that it's not going to absorb into your under garments and that you can get up and wipe it off."

The new uniforms also reduce patients' "exposure to organisms while they are in the environment," says Chief Nursing Officer Diane Raines, adding that employees will be able to donate their old uniforms to facilities in Central and South America. (Robbins, First Coast News, 7/9).

Reducing patient harm: How we can help has myriad resources to help you prevent patient harm and readmissions, including:

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