Innovations with Copper | UnityPoint Health Grinnell Regional Medical
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Innovation

New Level of Clean at GRMC

UnityPoint Health - Grinnell Regional Medical Center and Grinnell College participated in an 18-month research project that proved copper-alloy surfaces in a hospital setting substantially decrease the amount of bacteria in the hospital. Copper alloy has been installed on high-touch areas in our patient care wings to reduce risks of healthcare-acquired infections. We have copper alloy on surfaces such as grab bars, toilet flush valves, IV poles, switches, keyboards, sinks and dispensers to create a safer environment.

Grinnell College professor Shannon Hinsa-Leasure and two undergraduate students completed the research taking more than 1,500 samples from surfaces in rooms at Grinnell Regional Medical Center to measure bacterial counts.

The copper alloy is a natural antimicrobial, which kill a majority of bacteria within two hours. Copper alloy surfaces not only kill bacteria on the surfaces but also damage their DNA, which decreases the spread of antibiotic resistance. We will install copper in patient rooms, following the research, to provide the added protection and safety when admitted to our hospital.

View the study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Research on the antibacterial benefits of copper at Grinnell Regional Medical Center appeared in these media outlets:

  • New York Times - Copper Sinks and Faucets May Stem Hospital Infections 
  • The Washington Post - The bacteria-fighting super element that's making a comeback in hospitals: copper
  • American Journal of Infection Control - Copper alloy surfaces sustain terminal cleaning levels in a rural hospital
  • WHOTV Channel 13 - Grinnell Study Shows Copper is Cleaner in Hospital Setting
  • Radio Iowa - Grinnell College research finds copper helps reduce bacteria in hospitals
  • Business Wire - New Study Confirms Copper Alloys Continuously Kill Bacteria, Keep Hospital Rooms Cleaner
  • PR Newswire - GRMC Fitness Center - A new standard of clean and safe community fitness with CuVerro┬« 
  • PR Newswire - Grinnell Regional Medical Center (GRMC) Testing Clean with CuVerro┬«
  • Modern Healthcare - Best Practices: Using copper to fight infections
  • Business Record - Grinnell study: Copper alloy could reduce hospital infections
  • Infection Control Today - New Study Reinforces Copper's Ability to Kill Bacteria in Hospital Rooms