Every year in the US, 99,000 people die from infections they obtain during their hospital stay. These healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) kill more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.
Healthcare facilities currently address this issue with a variety of programs, including the use of autoclaves, disinfectant wipes, and UV sanitation. Unfortunately, these methods are only topical and do nothing to address the interior of soft surfaces, such as pillows and mattresses.
ECRI Institute reports that supposedly “clean” mattresses can contain blood and other bodily fluids, which put patients at risk for cross-contamination. As a result, these soft surfaces have become reservoirs of deadly organisms like MRSA, C. diff, E. coli, Candida auris, and more.
The good news is, innovation is at an all-time high and technology companies are developing new ways to address these issues in efficient and cost-effective ways.
A few examples include:
- Soft Surface Filters: Spry Therapeutics’ patented filter technology blocks even the smallest “superbugs” – down to .02 micron – from entering or exiting any soft surface to which it’s applied, helping to prevent the transmission of deadly diseases among patients and caregivers.
- Electronic Sensor to Track Hand Hygiene: SwipeSense makes sensors that link to hand sanitizer dispensers throughout hospitals, allowing hospitals to monitor staff compliance with hand sterilization.
- Germicidal UV: Hospitals install lamps that disinfect hard surfaces with shortwave ultraviolet light.
As groundbreaking technologies continue the battle against hospital-acquired infections, it is important that healthcare facilities continue to adopt holistic approaches to HAI prevention. As the CDC states in their 2017 report, the battle against HAIs is a winnable one – as long as healthcare facilities embrace transparency and accountability, while doing everything within their power to make an impact.
This article was contributed by Spry Therapeutics, a health and wellness technology company based in White Plains, NY.