Considerations for Designing Lasting Solutions
When considering the design of surfaces and selecting materials, design teams should take surface maintenance and cleaning into account. This includes understanding the context of the assembly of different adjacent surfaces and materials (e.g., where crevices between surfaces may trap dirt, or where different materials next to one another require different cleaning methods), as well as product limitations (material characteristics) and cost implications. This tool provides an overview of cleaning mechanisms (i.e., processes and/or technologies) and material characteristics, which in turn may influence materials selection and specification.
Table 1 compares current practices and trends in the healthcare industry (manual cleaning and no-touch automated disinfection technology). Table 2 summarizes the benefits and challenges associated with self-disinfecting surfaces. Given the multitude of products in the current market, the information below is not exhaustive. It can, however, be used as a starting point for design teams to review and make evidence-based decisions. The details can also be used as the basis for discussion for additional or emerging options.
Additional information can be found in the accompanying issue briefs on Contact Transmission (Part 1: The Role of Surfaces in HAIs and Part 2: The Role of Materials, Design, and Cleaning in HAIs).