Healthcare organizations represent a major market for plumbing manufacturers. Innovations that make health care facilities sanitary, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing are in demand, with healthcare purchasing managers on the lookout for products that meet these requirements, reports Health Facilities Management Magazine (Lorenzi, 2019).
Many plumbing products specifically manufactured for the healthcare environment are designed to provide infection prevention, durability and tamper-resistance while using water efficiently. For example, Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) member Bradley Corporation has created a product that promotes better hygiene while providing an attractive and welcoming washroom experience in patient areas.
Bradley Corp.’s touchless WashBar minimizes germ touchpoints and accumulation through a hands-free design with minimal crevices that make cleaning easier, as detailed on the company’s website. The WashBar’s design minimizes splashing during hand washing and incorporates offset drains and deep, sloping profiles to maintain infection control. Special surface finishes inhibit the growth of stain- and odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew. The WashBar uses LED lighting and icons to visually orient the user through hand washing, which is a primary method of preventing healthcare-acquired infections.
To prevent the buildup of bacteria in water pipes, PMI member T&S Brass developed the EC-3142 ChekPoint sensor faucet, which has an auto-purge feature that runs water for 30 seconds after every 12 hours of inactivity, preventing water from becoming stagnant in the lines. T&S Brass also produces durable ceramic cartridges with an antimicrobial coating that contributes to infection control in healthcare settings.
The ChekPoint faucet, as well as the new commercial faucets from PMI member American Standard, feature ASSE 1070-certified temperature controls to prevent scalding, another safety concern in hospitals. PMI member Neoperl products tamper-resistant, antimicrobial aerators.
Water efficiency is another goal that manufacturers want to check off the list for their healthcare clients. PMI member Kohler Co.’s Wave toilet flushes only when a person waves a hand over the flush valve. While a toilet with a regular flush valve many accidentally flush during the time a caregiver brings a wheelchair-bound patient to the toilet and back, the Wave will only flush with a wave of the hand, thereby saving water.
Healthcare setting represents opportunities for growth and innovation
Plumbing manufacturers agree that there are plentiful opportunities for growth and innovation in the health care field, the Healthcare Facilities Management article says. With hospitals always looking for new ways to improve patient safety and to reduce costs, the ability of plumbing manufacturers to apply systematic thinking to challenges will continue to be valued.
Lorenzi N. Plumbing manufacturers target health care needs. Health Facilities Management, March 14, 2019.