UV Disinfection: Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

Meghan Friolet
Meghan Friolet
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According to the CDC, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one HAI. HAIs are serious incidents, with approximately 1.7 million occurring in hospitals each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths. Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI) are the costliest, accounting for $46,000 per case. Healthcare facilities with high rates of patient injuries may also lose 1% of Medicare payments over the federal fiscal year.

Due to the seriousness of this issue, the Department of Health and Human Services has established a steering committee, which created a 5-year plan in 2009 to eliminate HAIs. This plan was renewed in 2015. There have been significant improvements over the last 10 years—for example, there was a 50% decrease in CLABSI between 2008 and 2014.

But there’s much more that can be done. As patients, we can request that each caregiver and family member wash their hands upon entering our rooms. We can also educate ourselves on the common signs and symptoms of an HAI and report any complications to our caregivers.

From a technology standpoint, healthcare facilities need to find ways to disinfect their mobile devices. These devices can easily become a breeding ground for pathogens—some of which can live on the surface for months! And healthcare facilities can invest in devices—from manufacturers such as HP and Lenovo—that withstand the most common disinfecting wipes and sprays.

But what can healthcare facilities do for mobile devices such as tablets, laptops, barcode scanners, pagers, and smartphones that are not hardened for medical use? Even caregivers who wash their hands consistently can pick up one of these germy devices and completely negate their good hygiene. The answer is the use of UV disinfection stations to sanitize pathogen-infested devices.

For instance, ReadyDock’s RD5 and RD5 Double Disinfection are both five-drawer systems that can lock, charge, disinfect, and store tablets and smartphones. Larger devices—such as barcode scanners and laptops—must lay flat to be disinfected in their single-drawer DUO system. ReadyDock makes device disinfection simple and easy, but don’t take my word for it. Watch David Sacco of ReadyDock demonstrate at HIMSS18 how fast and easy it is to use their disinfection solutions.

 

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Meghan Friolet

Meghan Friolet is a Product Manager, Emerging Technologies Vertical Center of Excellence, at Connection. Meghan enjoys her role creating new partnerships and enhancing existing partnerships within the healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and finance verticals. In her free time, Meghan likes spending time outdoors running, hiking, or skiing.

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