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ECRI Institute, an independent non-profit technology organization, has included Indigo-Clean™ on its list of top 10 technologies that healthcare executives should watch in 2016.
ECRI Institute’s Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List draws on the organization’s nearly 50 years of experience evaluating and providing technical assistance on the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of healthcare technologies. The free report is intended to help hospital leaders evaluate new technologies that provide higher value, better patient outcomes and lower costs.
Indigo-Clean™, a light fixture that installs easily into the ceiling of any room, uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with a wavelength output of 405 nanometers (nm) to automatically, safely and continuously inactivate a range of harmful bacteria that are known causes of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).
The Indigo-Clean™ technology is a continuous environmental disinfection technology vs. the episodic methods of disinfection used today, such as UV light, mists, foggers and chemical cleaners.
“While episodic methods are effective, the results are short-lived as bacteria immediately re-populate the space. Indigo-Clean’s™ ability to continuously kill harmful bacteria on hard and soft surfaces bolsters the healthcare facility's cleaning efforts,” says Cliff Yahnke, PhD, Kenall’s director of clinical affairs for Indigo-Clean. “And unlike high-tech systems that clean only when they are activated by a trained operator, Indigo-Clean™ is automatic which minimizes human error and room downtime.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on any given day, around 1 in every 25 U.S. hospital patients contracts at least one infection in a health care setting. A CDC survey estimates that 75,000 hospital patients with hospital-acquired infections died during their hospitalization in 2011, and increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is estimated to kill up to 99,000 Americans and infect another 1.7 million each year.
“We understand the pressures U.S. hospitals are under to improve the healthcare environment and benefit patient health outcomes,” says Yahnke, who leads the Indigo-Clean Clinical Partners Program. “Our Clinical Partners Program provides evaluation opportunities, with clinical support direct from the manufacturer to give healthcare providers confidence that Indigo-Clean™ is an innovative, effective and practical solution to an age-old problem.”
Clinical evaluations of the technology are underway at several U.S. hospitals to demonstrate the effectiveness of Indigo-Clean™. Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee just completed the second phase of its evaluation. While final results have yet to be published, initial findings are promising, showing a 52 percent continuous bacterial reduction in the hospital’s Gastroenterology (GI) Endoscope Clinic’s waiting room.
Similar evaluations in patient rooms are underway at United Hospital System, Kenosha Medical Center Campus. Hospitals in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Nevada and New Jersey will soon begin conducting their own Indigo-Clean™ evaluations.
The Indigo-Clean™ technology was discovered in 2002 by researchers at Scotland’s University of Strathclyde and has been clinically proven to reduce harmful bacteria up to 70 percent beyond routine disinfection efforts. It was first used in 2008 to reduce bacteria linked to hospital-acquired infections at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, a major teaching hospital in the U.K., and has been the subject of more than 30 peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. The University was granted the U.S. patent on the technology in 2014 and selected Kenall as the exclusive licensee to commercialize it for the North American healthcare market.
“Environmental disinfection is becoming a focus for institutions as part of their patient’s continuum of care. Advanced technologies like Indigo-Clean™ can play an important role in this effort by providing continuous bacteria reduction without the need for additional staffing,” says Yahnke.