In 2011, 721,800 healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) were reported in the United States. Daily and terminal disinfection of hospital areas such as patient rooms are critically important to help prevent HAI and involve extensive disinfection of the room before a new patient is admitted to the room. Additionally, portable medical equipment (PME) has been implicated in outbreaks of HAIs and the importance of systematic disinfection of PME has been recognized and included in infection control guidelines. Although the Joint Commission requires documentation of disinfection of hospital areas and PME, there is no systematic solution for tracking disinfection methods, location, personnel, and time/date of disinfection. Xenex proposes to beta-test a disinfection tracking system (DTS) based on a patent application licensed from the Veterans' Affairs (VA) Department and Phase I SBIR work, which will have the following capabilities: a display of disinfection status, RFID and sensors to manually or automatically detect a disinfection event, and cloud-based software to analyze disinfection practices. At the conclusion of the proposed project, a fully vetted beta device will have been create and field tested, including studies on the impact of the DTS on microbial contamination as well as user feedback and human factors information. At the completion of this project, we expect to be ready to field test the final design at parter sites and then begin marketing the product. This project will involve systematic observation of disinfection events in an acute care setting with and without the DTS present. The project team will consist of the same sites and PI/co- PIs as the Phase I SBIR. Our long-term goal is to improve patient outcomes through reducing the risk of contaminated surfaces and PME through fully commercializing the DTS.
The project will further develop and validate a disinfection tracking system to help assure that areas and equipment in the hospital setting are properly and routinely disinfected in order to avoid potential transmission of pathogens to patients and healthcare workers through a contaminated patient care environment. This project has a potential impact on patient outcomes through the prevention of hospital acquired infections as well as assisting with a burdensome documentation and tracking issue in healthcare. Furthermore, the project will create innovation through the commercialization of intellectual property developed licensed from the Veterans? Affairs Department.