How an innovative gown design keeps healthcare personnel protected when every second counts.
Medicom was founded in 1988 in response to the urgent need for medical gloves for healthcare professionals during the global HIV crisis. Today, the company protects healthcare professionals around the world as a leading manufacturer and distributor of infection control solutions and personal protective equipment, including some of the most trusted medical masks and most innovative gowns in the industry.
Ongoing commitment to protecting healthcare personnel
Since the company’s inception, it has never wavered from its commitment to protect healthcare professionals while they care for patients. It was this commitment that led to the development of one of the most innovative medical gowns in the industry.
A worrisome reality had come to the attention of the company’s research and development team: Healthcare personnel were often risking their own safety when treating patients in emergency situations by not wearing medical gowns. Apparently, despite regulatory requirements, healthcare personnel often did not have time to don a protective gown when a patient required urgent care. When they did try to put on a gown in a hurry, there was no time to tie and adjust it. As a result, untied gowns slipped off shoulders, gowns twisted and sleeves rode up, exposing bare skin. But it was not only in emergency situations that medical personnel were putting themselves at risk. Due to the design of standard medical gowns, personal would often contaminate their skin and clothing when removing them.
Understanding the critical nature of the situation, the company’s research and product development team set out to design a gown that would solve all of these problems and ensure:
- Easy donning for instant infection control compliance
- Customized fit, comfort and freedom of movement
- Safe and easy doffing (removal) to minimize cross-contamination
VersaGown’s innovative design significantly reduces contamination and increases compliance versus standard gowns
An independent randomized study1 had revealed how cross-contamination occurs with standard gowns: hands and wrists are contaminated during untying; the front of the neck and chin are contaminated when pulling the gown over the head, and the back of the neck is contaminated when unfastening ties.
Understanding the risk this posed to healthcare personnel, the Medicom team set out to design a gown that addresses these issues and reduces the risk of contamination. Their goal was to create a gown that would allow easy removal at the neck and provide increased skin coverage and snugness at the wrist. The result was the Ritmed by Medicom VersaGown with patented Flexneck™ technology.
What is Flexneck™ Technology?
Flexneck™ technology consists of a double elastic closure that creates the widest neck opening of any gown on the market. This makes it easy for the gown to slip over the wearer’s head and instantly fall into place to provide complete coverage. The double elastic closure also eliminates the need for the wearer to reach behind their head to tie the gown behind their neck and along with the full back, prevents the gown from slipping. The same double elastic closure allows the gown to easily break away from the body when removing the gown, further reducing the risk of cross-contamination.
Additional VersaGown features include thumb loop cuffs that prevent sleeves from riding up, ultrasonically sealed seams that prevent the gown from tearing during donning and doffing and premium latex-free materials that provide maximum breathability to keep wearers cool and comfortable.
VersaGown reduces cross-contamination by up to 35% versus standard gowns
To ensure that the VersaGown was as effective as the company had hoped, an independent randomized study1 was conducted to compare contamination levels of healthcare personnel during removal of a standard tie-on gown versus a VersaGown with Flexneck™ technology.
To measure contamination levels, bacteriophage Phi X174 and fluorescent lotion were assessed in two groups and applied to participants’ gloved hands. The trial demonstrated that the VersaGown significantly reduced contamination (30-35% reduction) for both fluorescent lotion and bacteriophage during simulations of contaminated gown removal versus standard gown.
The increased protection provided by the VersaGown was so significant that the design earned a Vizient Innovative Technology Award, but the team at Medicom believed that they could do even more to protect healthcare personnel. For the next version of the VersaGown, they decided to add features to further reduce hand and wrist contamination. The result was the second generation VersaGown, which incorporated both Flexneck™ technology and an extended thumb loop cuff that increases coverage of the palms and eliminates gaping at the wrists.
Second generation VersaGown provides nearly two-fold reduction in contamination of hand and wrist areas
To confirm the effectiveness of the new VersaGown, a second independent study2 was. The study confirmed that the improvements to the VersaGown further reduced contamination of healthcare personnel and demonstrated that contamination of the hands and/or wrists was significantly lower for participants wearing the new VersaGown (27%) in comparison to those wearing a standard gown (53%). Furthermore, these results were achieved without providing study participants with prior training on proper donning and doffing techniques.
VersaGown helps ensure instant compliance—even without training
After demonstrating that VersaGown’s design alone helped significantly improve infection control compliance versus standard gowns, a cohort of study participants received training on correct gown donning and doffing techniques. Although contamination occurred significantly less often for the education cohort in comparison to the no education cohort for both gowns, contamination was significantly lower for VersaGown (5%) versus the standard gown (23%).
While Medicom is proud of the unparalleled protection and compliance offered by the VersaGown, the company never stops innovating and remains firmly committed to consistently providing healthcare professionals and their patients the most advanced and reliable protection possible. Check our website often to discover our latest innovations.
Medicom has you covered from head to toe
In addition to the VersaGown with Flexneck™ technology, Medicom offers a comprehensive selection of protective apparel, including surgical gowns, isolation gowns, chemotherapy gowns, impervious gowns and ANSI/AAMI PB70:2012 compliant gowns, as well as lab coats and jackets, coveralls and sleeve covers, bouffant caps, shoe covers, beard covers and more.
View our complete line of gowns and protective apparel and watch for our latest
- Infection control & hospital epidemiology (2018), vol. 39, no. 1
- Zeina Hajar et al. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (2019), 1–3