ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new healthcare industry standard is being adopted locally. The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) is planning to model a new look through the Critical Care Tower (CTC).

Surgical suites will be home to stainless steel walls and cabinets. Traditionally, materials used for these areas are concrete or sheetrock.

According to a release, the CTC will be the first location in New Mexico to make the swap to stainless steel. The surgical suite affected has 18 operating rooms, and it’s located on Level 3.

“I am so excited that UNMH is creating a state-of-the-art medical facility to be able to deliver more to the people of New Mexico,” Clinical Facilities Development Executive Director April Jaglo said, “We are all relatively in the dark about what new technology will be available in 10 to 20 years. The stainless steel wall system will allow UNMH to have a flexible infrastructure plan in place that will meet any needs in the future.”

The release stated that stainless steel panels house about 50% less bacteria than standard rooms. The change will help keep the area clean, which contributes to infection control. On top of infection control, repairs to the steel panels won’t take as long as they normally would with regular walls. Another benefit to using metal is its durability; the steel is fire resistant and can last an hour up to 1,700 degrees.