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Ecolab Inc.'s healthcare division announces it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with infection control expert Philip C. Carling, MD, for his environmental hygiene patent applications. Carling will serve in an advisory role to Ecolab, which will utilize his expertise to further drive the development of comprehensive environmental hygiene solutions and programs healthcare facilities need to combat the problem of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 1.7 million patients become infected during the course of medical treatment each year, costing the healthcare industry approximately $33 billion in direct medical costs.
"We know that improperly cleaned patient rooms can elevate the risk of infection, but solving the problem takes a consistent process and dedicated effort that includes the right tools, education and training to implement best practices across all levels," said Carling. "I look forward to advising Ecolab as it advances its innovations in cleaning, disinfection and operational improvement in the healthcare industry."
Carling is a professor of clinical medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine and director of infectious diseases and hospital epidemiology at Carney Hospital in Boston and Quincy Medical Center, Quincy Massachusetts. His peer-reviewed research of high-touch surfaces in patient rooms in three studies found that only about 50 percent of the surfaces were "cleaned in compliance with institutional policies" at first testing. However, with the implementation of training and education programs, the thoroughness of cleaning was dramatically improved. Cleaning compliance was measured by using a patent-pending solution developed by Carling that fluoresces under a black light when applied to surfaces such as bed rails, doorknobs and tray tables.
"Ecolab scientists are constantly working to develop new and innovative products and services to stop the spread of pathogens that cause infections," said Paul B. Chaffin, vice president for Ecolab Healthcare North America. "The insight and knowledge of environmental hygiene that Dr. Carling can provide will further strengthen the solutions we are able to offer our hospital partners to improve the health and safety of their environments."