JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Baptist Health today announced it will become the first health system to widely adopt specialized staff garments featuring Vestex® textile technology, which has been demonstrated to repel fluids and minimize the risk of transmission of organisms. The more than $1 million investment represents the health system’s ongoing commitment to enhancing safety for both staff and patients. Soft surfaces, like uniforms, have been identified as common vehicles that spread organisms, including those related to hospital-acquired infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), in acute care settings.
On July 10, the health system will begin to distribute more than 30,000 pieces of staff uniforms, lab coats, and scrub jackets to employees. The uniforms, developed by Vestagen Technical Textiles, are designed to provide a durable fluid barrier, an antimicrobial, and a special breathable material for wearer comfort. More than 6,000 Baptist Health inpatient staff with frequent patient contact, including nursing, imaging, respiratory therapy, and environmental services members, will receive new uniforms during the launch period.
“There is nothing more important than the safety of our patients and this investment in technologically-advanced uniforms will help further prevent infections,” said Hugh Greene, Baptist Health President and CEO. “Our effort is part of an organization-wide emphasis on quality and safety and these uniforms serve as a symbol of our commitment to our staff, patients, and the community.”
The Vestex uniform’s fluid barrier binds to individual fibers, resulting in material that is highly repellent to bodily fluids, water, oil and dirt. This high repellency has been shown to work with Vestagen’s embedded antimicrobial technology to prevent organisms from being acquired and retained on the fabric.
“The newest innovation in health care technology is not the latest surgical device or even a piece of new hospital equipment,” said John Wilbanks, Baptist Health Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Health care worker apparel becomes the latest high tech device, turning a uniform into an infection prevention device. This isn’t just an investment in uniforms, but an innovative technology that will make hospital and other healthcare settings safer.”
Studies show that new textile technologies can prevent or reduce contamination.
“Research1 published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology documented a greater than 99.99 percent reduction in the super-bug MRSA on Vestex uniforms compared to traditional non-protective uniforms,” said Uncas “Ben” B. Favret III, president and CEO of Vestagen. “Baptist is blazing the trail and setting the standard for others in the health care industry by incorporating this extra level of protection.”
Later this year, the health system plans to rollout customized patient apparel featuring the same technology, making Baptist Health patients the first to have access to Vestex patient apparel.
About Vestagen Technical Textiles
Vestagen Technical Textiles develops and markets advanced performance textile products and technologies. Vestagen has developed Vestex®, which represents a new class of technology-based, active barrier protective fabrics combining antimicrobial, liquid repellent and breathability properties. Vestex uniforms and scrubs are designed to protect healthcare workers and their patients from dangerous contaminants. They are clinically proven to prevent or reduce the acquisition and retention of contaminants on clothing and are comfortable, durable and affordable. For more information, visit www.vestagen.com.
About Baptist Health
Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health includes the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; a cancer center; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; outpatient facilities; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. For more details, visit baptistjax.com. For information on Wolfson Children’s Hospital, visit www.wolfsonchildrens.org.
1 G. Bearman, et al., A crossover trial of antimicrobial scrubs to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus burden on healthcare worker apparel. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2012: Vol. 33; No. 3.