Healthy Casework Solutions For Medical Settings
Not all healthcare casework cabinet and worksurface options are equal when it comes to how they affect workplace well-being. This is an important consideration in hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices where patients and staff are particularly vulnerable to bacteria and germs. Modern manufacturing techniques and advanced anti-microbial materials can help keep work environments exposed to health risks, cleaner and safer for everyone. Here’s how:
When was the last time you repainted a room in your house? Do you remember how long that new paint smell lingered? As you learned in chemistry class, “all smells are particulate”. This means when you detect an unpleasant odor, you are actually taking that substance into your body. From your lungs, it’s pretty easy for molecules to pass right through into your blood stream. Particularly nasty VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like formaldehyde are commonly used in a variety of casework and millwork furniture finishes. These substances are considered carcinogenic and can also cause acute symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and breathing difficulty in sensitive individuals.
Agion Powder Coated Millwork or Casework
One way to avoid off gassing of VOCs from healthcare cabinets and hospital furniture, is to choose Agion powder coated steel products for use in all administrative offices, nurses’ stations, and patient care areas. Agion powder coating is accomplished by spraying electro-statically charged particles of resin onto a steel cabinet component. Then the cabinet is assembled using a unique rivet construction similar to the process used in building airplanes. Rivet construction provides the flexibility to change cabinet components and ensures all edges of every panel are coated. Each individual cabinet is baked at a high temperature so the Agion powder coating bonds directly to the cabinet’s metal. This means there aren’t any loose particles wafting around in the air after the powder coating is cured. Limiting VOC’s is a smart way to keep your building’s indoor air quality high. That’s especially important in a hospital or long-term health care facility where patients with breathing problems like chronic bronchitis or emphysema need the cleanest air possible.
Do you remember that study that made the rounds a few years ago about how the average desk hosts about 400 times the number of germs as a toilet seat? It’s certainly true that work surfaces which are touched over and over can accumulate a layer of dirt and oils that attract and nurture bacteria. Add in the particularly nasty strains of germs that are present in a typical hospital setting, and you realize how critical it is to maintain the best hygiene standards possible. Nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections are far too common among patients today; and healthcare workers are also at high risk for being contaminated with bacteria that leads to illness from medical cabinets and worksurfaces.
Now, there’s a “silver bullet” to help reduce the bacteria impact on healthcare millwork cabinets and worksurfaces. Agion is a silver impregnated compound in paint that is used as an antimicrobial topcoat to prevent the spread of bacteria and germs. Very few people use silver in their powder coat, which makes the Agion coating unique. Before the development of antibiotics, silver was used in sulfa drugs to keep wounds from getting infected. Today, since so many strains of bacteria (like MRSA) are resistant to antibiotics, we’re back to using silver to help prevent against bacterial growth for day-to-day situations. Contact with Agion coated surfaces is safe for humans and deadly for bacteria and mold. Modular casework cabinets and worksurfaces treated with Agion germ fighting products keep battling microbes year after year. This isn’t a substitute for having hospital workers wash their hands or for decontaminating commonly touched cabinet and worksurfaces, but it’s a good backup system.
A lot of hospitals use stainless, but Agion antimicrobial powder coated finish with silver is an excellent solution for , if not the best option in modular healthcare casework!