April 24, 2019
Soft Surfaces… Hard Reality: The dangers of patient transference through hospital privacy curtains

According to a recent article in Infection Control Today, “healthcare textiles and other soft surfaces can fly under the radar in terms of the role they may play in the transmission of infectious agents. An increasing number of experts are investigating these contaminated textiles (including privacy curtains, upholstery, apparel, etc.) as a vehicle for cross-contamination and transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) such as Clostridium difficile, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.”

Studies show that hospital privacy curtains are frequently and rapidly contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria. In fact, patients admitted to rooms previously occupied by patients with hospital pathogens have a substantially greater risk of acquiring the same pathogen than patients not occupying such rooms. Organisms have also been found to have been transmitted from privacy curtains directly to healthcare workers’ hands.

According to Infection Control Today, “studies indicate that microorganisms left behind by patients can contaminate hospital surfaces at concentrations sufficient for transmission, and that these pathogens survive and persist for extended periods despite attempts to disinfect or remove them and can be transferred to the hands of healthcare personnel.”

A Solution
Speed is critical when it comes to infection prevention and control. That’s why the infection control experts at ICP Medical recommend Rapid Refresh™ privacy curtains, which can be changed in seconds without the need for special tools or ladders. Patented technology allows the Rapid Refresh™ curtain system to minimize the potential dissemination of healthcare- associated pathogens to aid in facilities maintaining both a safe and compliant environment.

The Rapid Refresh™ privacy curtain system’s patented release mechanism allows the curtain to be changed without the need for a ladder reducing the threat of falls, increasing compliance and leading to an overall safer environment for the healthcare workers and their patients.

A time monitoring system called Timestrip® provides a simple way to let hospital staff know when it’s time to change a curtain to comply with hospital protocols. An easy to install smooth-gliding rail and hanging rod system provide a turnkey system to help reduce the dangers of HAIs and protect the safety of hospital personnel. The curtains are available in a variety of patterns and colors as well as custom patterns.

Sources:Pyrek, Kelly, Hospital Privacy Curtains and Bed Sheets: Soft Surface Contamination and Transmission, Infection Control Today, December 2018; ICP Medical website: