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Deal marks company's biggest deployment of groundbreaking healthcare worker safety enhancing uniforms
ORLANDO, Fla., June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Vestagen Technical Textiles, Inc. today announced it has finalized a five-year, multi-million dollar contract to provide Baptist Health of Jacksonville, Fla. with white coats and scrubs protected by Vestagen's proprietary Vestex® fabric. Vestex combines breathability, fluid-repellency and antimicrobial activity to reduce the risk of pathogen transmission on soft-surfaces. The agreement marks the largest contract in Vestagen's history.
"This large-scale adoption of Vestex protected attire is not only a major milestone for our company it is also a major milestone in U.S. healthcare. Baptist Health is making the first widespread commitment to proactively improve healthcare worker and patient safety by utilizing advanced textile technology," said Ben Favret, president and CEO of Vestagen. "Vestagen is absolutely privileged to partner with a leading hospital system like Baptist Health to demonstrate that what healthcare workers wear should serve as a barrier against harmful pathogens."
Vestex fabric is fluid-repellant to reduce the acquisition and retention of contaminants and made with an embedded antimicrobial to inhibit the growth of bacteria on the fabric. It is the first fabric clinically proven to minimize the acquisition and retention of pathogens. According to a clinical study published in the journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, ICU staff wearing Vestex had greater than 99.99 percent fewer methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) organisms present on their uniforms, both before and after a shift, compared to workers wearing traditional non-protective uniforms. The fabric is also breathable with the ability to quickly wick away moisture from the inside, providing comfort to the wearer and a constant professional appearance.
Baptist Health is investing in its conversion to Vestex uniforms as part of a new system-wide effort to leverage technology to enhance their culture of safety. The uniforms will be distributed to more than 6,000 staff members involved in direct patient care across its five-hospital system starting on July 9. Baptist Health also plans to extend Vestex protection to patients later this year through the deployment of new patient apparel custom designed in collaboration with Vestagen to enhance patient protection and dignity.
"Our decision to protect our staff with Vestex attire is an investment in enhancing the culture of safety for our employees and patients," said Diane Raines, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Baptist Health. "We believe the proactive steps we are taking to minimize the role attire can play in transmitting pathogens will soon be the new standard in preventing unexpected exposures. This is part of our commitment to change health care for good. As early adopters of this new technology we will share what we learn with others in our industry."
"Healthcare workers are exposed to some of the most dangerous work environments and need better protection from the body fluids and harmful contaminants they encounter every day," added Favret. "The progressive action Baptist Health is taking to prioritize staff and patient safety in this way sets a strong precedent for other healthcare facilities to follow."
Baptist Health's efforts also support Vestagen's goal to inform healthcare workers about the important role their uniforms can play in pathogen transmission. To draw further attention to this issue, Vestagen recently launched a "Keep the Coat" campaign to raise awareness about the transmission potential of non-protective uniforms and the risk of contaminating provider's street clothes if the protective qualities of the storied white coat are removed during patient interaction.
For more information about the "Keep the Coat" campaign and to join the discussion about mobile soft-surface contamination, please visit facebook.com/keepthecoat. For more information about Vestagen and Vestex, please visit vestagen.com.
Vestagen Technical Textiles develops and markets advanced performance textile products and technologies. Vestagen has developed Vestex®, the first in a new class of technology-based, active barrier protective fabrics combining antimicrobial, liquid repellent and breathability properties. Vestex uniforms and scrubs for healthcare applications are designed to protect 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 vestagen.com.
 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.
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