hdm Product Bulletin - 27th May 2020
The current pandemic has reasserted the critical importance of infection control, hand hygiene and environmental decontamination in preventing the spread of Covid-19, and regular hand washing with soap and water remains one of the most effective means to reduce transmission.
Time shortage and staff shortage in healthcare is not a new phenomenon, but in the current crisis it is greatly exacerbated with both the unprecedented influx of patients and the increasing number of healthcare workers that must self-isolate if symptomatic to prevent potential transmission.
Should the hand wash station itself present a disincentive to proper hand decontamination (unreliable operation, unpredictable fluctuations of temperature, excess splashing), then the problems compound.
The Optitherm thermostatic tap, Best Interiors Product at the Building Better Healthcare Awards, has been designed specifically to assist with infection control. As a thermostatic mixing valve, hot tap and a cold tap combined in a single unit it facilitates safe and comfortable hand decontamination by delivering temperature controlled warm water at a steady flow rate that avoids splashing and aerosol formation. The integral thermostatic mixing valve continuously and automatically adjusts the mix of hot and cold, compensating for variations in the supply pressures and temperatures to ensure accurate and reliable delivery at 41°C. The outlet fitting provides a 6 L/min flow rate, optimised for washing, whilst also conditioning the flow to minimise unwelcome splashing.
Hands-free operation is reliably provided by a pair of novel elbow-operated dual levers; the red lever operates the flow of mixed, thermostatically controlled, warm water and the blue lever provides dedicated cold water. Two taps sharing a single outlet offers continuity of water delivery should there be a failure of the hot water supply (the TMV will respond by closing its cold supply), additional user control of the delivery temperature of mixed water (by adding cold) and increased turnover of cold water (aiding Legionella control).
The coronavirus has also fostered better attention to environmental cleaning, especially for common touch surfaces like a tap and associated basin. A continuous, smooth chromium-plated surface, with no tight angles or hard-to-reach places ensures the Optitherm is easy to clean quickly and effectively.