CHOT notes the importance of “active barrier” apparel in patient safety


Adopting “active barrier” apparel in healthcare uniforms is an important step towards patient safety, according to research conducted in 2017 by the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT).

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Texas health organizations to reveal steps in supporting major management, clinical, and information technology innovations in healthcare. CHOT is based at Texas A&M University with the mission to advance the knowledge and practice of transformational strategies.

The research states that the adoption of “active barrier” technology in hospital uniforms will protect employees and patients by reducing exposures to microorganisms, infectious materials and body fluids. The study also noted that “intensive care unit settings saw decreased incidents of hospital-acquired surface bacteria on active barrier uniforms.”

Healthcare worker attire has been deeply rooted in tradition for hundreds of years, according to the report. “White coat” ceremonies throughout universities encourage this tradition, implying that the attire of health workers is necessary to uphold the dignity of the profession.

“Recent years have revealed the potential role of health worker apparel in the transmission of healthcare-associated infections,” the report stated. “Healthcare workers often face the most dangerous work conditions and are at risk of becoming ill or infected by exposure to infectious diseases, and can be exposed to pathogenic microorganisms and fluids capable of transmitting disease. Procedures are in place to clean and disinfect most hard surfaces that patients come in contact with. Yet, the most mobile surface of all, the healthcare worker uniform, is often overlooked.”

You can read the full report here.

For additional information, please contact Ben Favret, president and founder of Vestagen Textile Technologies, at Vestagen is an associate member of the DFW Hospital Council.