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infection control

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Fomites /ˈfōməˌtēz/ are defined as “objects or materials which are likely to carry infection, such as clothes, utensils and furniture.” Casework, millwork and countertops fall into this category. Fomites that are porous provide an easy place for viruses and bacteria to hide. A great example is a laminate countertop with a PVC edge band that has been chipped. The picture below was taken at a hospital Emergency Room behind a Nurse’s Station.


When viruses/bacteria sink into the holes of porous material they become extremely difficult to clean and disinfect. The cavities in porous material become a place for moisture to collect and bacteria need moisture to grow. The picture below shows how viruses and bacteria can fall into the crevices of porous material.

Solid surface millwork, casework and counters are easy to clean, resistant to chemical corrosion, resistant to impact damage and easy to repair. This makes solid surfaces the solid choice for healthcare, education and corporate spaces.

 

 

At ASST, we have been fabricating healthcare solid surfaces for 23 years. We have a solid surface fabrication facility in McSherrystown, PA and a quartz fabrication facility in Corry, PA. Whatever your needs, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Cradle Baby Bowl

Solid Surface Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl®

Newborns are in a “primary curve” C-shaped fetal position upon birth and for the first few months of life, they do not yet have the muscles to support their head. Research has shown that keeping an infant’s spine straight is not a sound physiological position and in addition to stressing the baby’s spine, it can also negatively influence the development of the baby’s hip joints (Dr. Evelin Kirkilionis, University of Freiburg).

Straightening the baby’s spine immediately after birth is not healthy.
Giving birth is stressful for the mother and healthcare providers have made advancements in reducing this stress for mothers. If you do a web search for reducing the stress of child birth you will find most results are geared toward reducing the stress for mothers.

At ASST, we know that reducing the stress of birth for the child is important to every parent and the desire for every parent is to have a happy, healthy baby. We worked with the labor and delivery team at St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore to develop our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl®. Our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl® is ergonomically designed to support the newborn and reduce the risk of Healthcare Acquired Infection. From Africa to Australia, our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl® is part of new life around the world.


Schematic of Solid Surface Baby Bathing Bowl for Healthcare Institutions

Newborns are in a “primary curve” C-shaped fetal position upon birth and for the first few months of life, they do not yet have the muscles to support their head. Research has shown that keeping an infant’s spine straight is not a sound physiological position and in addition to stressing the baby’s spine, it can also negatively influence the development of the baby’s hip joints (Dr. Evelin Kirkilionis, University of Freiburg).

Straightening the baby’s spine immediately after birth is not healthy. Giving birth is stressful for the mother and healthcare providers have made advancements in reducing this stress for mothers. If you do a web search for reducing the stress of child birth you will find most results are geared toward reducing the stress for mothers.

At ASST, we know that reducing the stress of birth for the child is important to every parent and the desire for every parent is to have a happy, healthy baby. We worked with the labor and delivery team at St. Joseph Medical Center in Baltimore to develop our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl®. Our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl® is ergonomically designed to support the newborn and reduce the risk of Healthcare Acquired Infection. From Africa to Australia, our Cradle Baby Bathing Bowl® is part of new life around the world.

Whatever your solid surface needs, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Photo showing locations where bacteria can grow on a sink in an emergecy room

Healthcare Acquired Infections are also known as nosocomial (nōzōˈkōmēəl) infections. The awareness of Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI) is at an all-time high and prevention or reduction of HAI is crucial to caring for the patient. HAI costs are incurred by the patient and the healthcare provider. Patient costs of HAI include increased length of stay and even death. Healthcare provider costs of HAI are withheld provider compensation and higher insurance rates.

How can healthcare providers reduce the risk of HAI? One of the primary methods of reducing HAI, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is environmental cleaning. How can you clean a laminated top with a chip exposing the particle board core? The answer is that you can’t. In most healthcare environments, once a PLAM countertop has been chipped, it will have to be replaced to ensure that the healthcare provider is reducing the risk of HAI and will pass a healthcare inspection.

What if your method of infection control cleaning damages your furnishings? Ethanol, bleach and strong detergents will deteriorate Plastic Laminate (PLAM) exposing the particle wood substrate beneath. This provides a medium for bacteria to grow and another check mark for the health inspector. When PVC edge banding peals, the exposed wood substrate is a prime location for bacterial growth as well.

Solid Surfaces are resistant to chemicals, restistant to bacteria and will not delaminate. This makes solid surfaces desirable for healthcare environments and HAI can be reduced by replacing PLAM with solid surfaces. Every health system should make the replacement of laminate surfaces with solid surfaces part of their Infection Control Plan.

At ASST, we have been fabricating healthcare solid surfaces for 22 years. We have a solid surface fabrication facility in McSherrystown, PA and a quartz fabrication facility in Corry, PA. Whatever your needs, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Healing Solid Surface Casework

Solid surface medical / dental workstation

Healthcare professionals learned long ago that being cold will not give you a cold and today we know traditional casework is harboring bacteria. The most important part of healthcare casework is helping people heal. Why are we still using the same casework that is making people sick?

One of the cross-cutting issues of acute healthcare is the cost of preventing Healthcare Acquired Infection (HAI) and the cost of furnishings that are specified. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 31 patients will become sick due to of a HAI. While casework is one of the largest investments that a healthcare facility makes when it comes to healthcare furnishing, it is also a likely place for HAI.

Traditional casework is fabricated using wood particle substrates laminated and trimmed with plastic or PVC. There are many places traditional casework can harbor infectious diseases. The most common places on or in healthcare casework for bacteria to grow and spread are handles, peeling laminate or the seam of edge banding. Why are health systems still using casework that peels apart, ensuring that bacterial will be spread?

Solid surface is the future of healthcare casework. Changes in the design of acute healthcare casework will help prevent disease and even promote healing. Eliminating laminate, banded edges and minimizing seams removes the environment for bacterial growth and transmission. Because the lifespan of casework is substantially extended with solid surfaces, the overall cost of solid surface casework is lower than traditional laminate casework.


At ASST, we have been fabricating solid surfaces for 21 years and we know that the future of casework is solid surface. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the finest quality standards you expect. We look forward to Going Beyond for your exciting project! Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


What is a flush mounted sink? A sink whereas the edge is flush with the top. There are different ways to mount a sink. Sinks can be top mounted, under mounted, or flush mounted. A sink that is glued or braced to the top of the counter creating an overlap is top mounted. This type of sink can be simply dropped in, glued and caulked. It can also be dropped in, fastened with hardware underneath and caulked. Under mounted sinks are glued under the counter or mounted with hardware. Flush mounted sinks are also glued under the counter. The counter is then cut down to fit the dimensions of the sink.

In all commercial environments reducing the risk of bacterial infection is essential. Mitigating the risk of bacterial infection is most essential in healthcare, education and laboratory environments. Since up to 80 percent of a bacterial cell’s weight is water, a sink is an ideal place for bacteria to propagate. Traditional top mount or bottom mount sinks leave a lip. This lip combined with moisture is a perfect environment for bacteria to lurk. Designing and building sink tops and bowls that promote bacterial growth can be a liability for the customer.

Flush mounted sinks are seamless, reducing the risk of bacterial growth, and aesthetically pleasing. The sink and top act as one continuous surface. This seamless design allows for a chic look and a healthy environment. ASST fabricates and installs these solid surface flush mounted sinks for commercial environments.


Call us today for your next commercial solid surface flush mounted sink project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to the exact specifications, in a safe manner and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approximately one in 25 acute care patients acquires an infection during their stay. These findings are alarming and have triggered an urgency to address the issues surrounding patient acquired infections. Facilities managers and infection control practitioners (ICPs) are aware of how bacteria and mold grow in/on horizontal and vertical surfaces. It wasn’t until recently that sinks, countertops and wall cladding were studied as potential sites for the spread of disease.

Plastic laminate finishes on healthcare casework and wall cladding have seams and exposed edges that can harbor bacteria. Laminate substrate is usually particle board. While it is dense and may appear to be non-absorbent, it is porous and will absorb moisture over time. Wet wood will harbor bacteria, especially Aspergillus fungi.

A solution to these problems can be found by utilizing solid surface which inherently inhibits bacterial growth. By creating a seamless, nonporous surface where pathogens can’t grow, solid surface can help with control issues and maintenance. Solid surfaces such as Corian, Avonite, Wilsonart, Durasein, LG or Krion can survive the impacts, nicks and cuts that ruin most wall surfaces. It is renewable, repairable and reusable. If the solid surface is damaged it can be repaired onsite, saving labor costs and resources. While warranties may vary from manufacturers, some will guarantee the material for as long a ten years.


Solid surfaces have proven superior performance in healthcare applications such as wall cladding, casework, countertops and more. Let ASST ASsiST you protecting the health of others with our custom solid surface fabrication. For a quote,  contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


The healthcare industry has long understood the necessity of reducing the spread of bacteria by minimizing the use of porous materials. For years the healthcare industry has utilized Plastic Laminate (PLAM) casework because of the cost effective traits. Solid surfaces such as Corian ®, Durasein ®, Krion ®, LG HI-MACS ®, Wilsonart®, and Avonite ® may cost more upfront; however, this material is virtually future proof.

Casework has traditionally been made of Plastic Laminate clad MDF with PVC glued to the edges. Some of the shortcomings of PLAM casework is the lifespan before adhesives start to fail, the durability of laminate materials and the lack of positive aesthetics. Once the casework is damaged or begins to come apart, it is no longer suitable for healthcare without the risk of harboring bacteria. No health system wants to find out that the loose PVC edging on a piece of casework is spreading bacteria. PLAM is traditionally made using square or rectangular shapes which limits the creativity of design. Today health systems are looking to assist people with ailments as well as being known as a leader in design.

Solid surface material is ideal for the healthcare industry. Solid surfaces are non-porous making it resistant to bacteria growth. Solid surfaces are easy to clean and because there are no layers, it will not separate. Solid surface is easy to repair, long lasting and can be thermoformed into any shape. At ASST, we have 21 years of experience fabricating casework for the healthcare industry. If you want to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria and wow your customers with the design, solid surface is the obvious choice.


If you want your next project to stand the test of time and “wow” your customer, let ASST help you out. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and
to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Dupont Corian Dental Office CaseworkThe healthcare industry has long understood the necessity of reducing the spread of bacteria by minimizing the use of porous materials. For years the healthcare industry has utilized Plastic Laminate (PLAM) casework because of the cost effective traits. Solid surfaces such as Corian ®, Durasein ®, Krion ®, LG HI-MACS ® and Avonite ® may cost more upfront; however, this material is virtually future proof.

Casework has traditionally been made of Plastic Laminate clad MDF with PVC glued to the edges. Some of the shortcomings of PLAM casework is the lifespan before adhesives start to fail, the durability of laminate materials and the lack of positive aesthetics. Once the casework is damaged or begins to come apart, it is no longer suitable for healthcare without the risk of harboring bacteria. No health system wants to find out that the loose PVC edging on a piece of casework is spreading bacteria. PLAM is traditionally made using square or rectangular shapes which limits the creativity of design. Today health systems are looking to assist people with ailments as well as being known as a leader in design.

Solid surface material is ideal for the healthcare industry. Solid surfaces are non-porous making it resistant to bacteria growth. Solid surfaces are easy to clean and because there are no layers, it will not separate. Solid surface is easy to repair, long lasting and can be thermoformed into any shape. At ASST, we have 20 years of experience fabricating casework for the healthcare industry. If you want to reduce the risk of spreading bacteria and wow your customers with the design, solid surface is the obvious choice.


If you want your next project to stand the test of time and “wow” your customer, let ASST help you out. Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.


Flush Mount SinkWhat is a flush mounted sink? A sink whereas the edge is flush with the top. There are different ways to mount a sink. Sinks can be top mounted, under mounted, or flush mounted. A sink that is glued or braced to the top of the counter creating an overlap is top mounted. This type of sink can be simply dropped in, glued and caulked. It can also be dropped in, fastened with hardware underneath and caulked. Under mounted sinks are glued under the counter or mounted with hardware. Flush mounted sinks are also glued under the counter. The counter is then cut down to fit the dimensions of the sink.

In all commercial environments reducing the risk of bacterial infection is essential. Mitigating the risk of bacterial infection is most essential in healthcare, education and laboratory environments. Since up to 80 percent of a bacterial cell’s weight is water, a sink is an ideal place for bacteria to propagate. Traditional top mount or bottom mount sinks leave a lip. This lip combined with moisture is a perfect environment for bacteria to lurk. Designing and building sink tops and bowls that promote bacterial growth can be a liability for the customer.

Flush mounted sinks are seamless, reducing the risk of bacterial growth, and aesthetically pleasing. The sink and top act as one continuous surface. This seamless design allows for a chic look and a healthy environment. ASST fabricates and installs these solid surface flush mounted sinks for commercial environments.


Call us today for your next commercial solid surface flush mounted sink project! Whatever you need, ASST can build it to your exact specifications, in a safe manner, and to the finest quality standards you expect. Contact us now online or call us at 717-630-1251.