Mackenzie Health improves hand hygiene with ultraviolet technology
March 1, 2018
With the dramatic increase of mobile devices such as phones and tablets used by patients, families and healthcare providers, hospitals are increasingly challenged to keep germs out of care environments,” says Heather Candon, Manager of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) at Mackenzie Health in York Region, Ontario. “Recent research has shown these devices, can carry all sorts of germs. At Mackenzie Health we are always looking for ways to stop infectious viruses from entering the hospital and avoiding transmission between patients.”
In the spring of 2017, Mackenzie Health identified the need to find a way to sanitize a number of mobile devices, not only for healthcare team members, but also for patients, visitors and the general public.
With the organization’s recent implementation of a new electronic medical record, enabled by more mobile devices than ever, the need to find a safe and proven way to effectively and quickly clean devices became urgent.
Enter Mackenzie Health’s partnership, with CleanSlateUV, a company that specializes in Ultraviolet (UV) technology to sanitize a wide range of small, non-critical mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets, ID badges, stethoscopes, watches and other hard, non-porous items. Following a surface-clean to remove any visible dirt, the technology can sanitize these common devices in 30 seconds. UV technology is not used to sanitize equipment that breaks the skin of a patient.
“We’re encouraged by the results and are pleased that many people now clean their cell phone regularly, such as when they enter the lobby or while they are waiting in the coffee line,” adds Candon. “This is a good thing all year-round, but even more so during flu season.”
Following a successful pilot of the technology at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital by the Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi2), the equipment is now available in the main lobbies of the hospital for use by the care team and visitors.
Mi2 is a separate entity that acts on Mackenzie Health’s applied innovation vision and helps build the infrastructure needed to create and propagate sustainable change. By developing partnerships with industry and academia, Mi2 has established an evaluative focus on implementation, usability, adoption and scalability of disruptive innovations, predominately in healthcare technology, but also in evidence-based practice changes and alternative service delivery and procurement models.
Partnerships are built on a common vision of healthcare innovation and remain critical to the success of early innovation initiatives.
“Innovation is a key enabler in achieving our vision to create a world-class health experience,” says Richard Tam, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Mackenzie Health.
“We believe that, through pioneering projects such as the partnership with CleanSlate, we can help demonstrate the value of mobile, ‘smart’, and secure communications in a healthcare environment and are looking forward to the opportunity to expand our findings for the benefit of the general public.”
The Mi2 team in collaboration with Mackenzie Health staff worked closely with CleanSlate to optimize their technology and improve their design for use within a hospital. The feedback shared helped CleanSlate refine their equipment and the hospital benefited from a solution that is fast, user-friendly and effective.
“Our collaboration with Mackenzie Health’s staff and the Mi2 team has been fantastic,” says Manjunath Anand, Chief Technology Officer at CleanSlate UV. “Their feedback led to meaningful product design and user interface improvements, and they helped prove how valuable the technology can be to patients and visitors, not just to clinicians. This has created value for users and for hospitals seeking a one-stop solution for the problem of mobile device sanitization and personal hygiene.”
CleanSlate’s technology was initially intended to be tested in a clinical setting. After a deeper review, the Mi2 team in consultation with Mackenzie Health staff, identified that the system would potentially receive more foot traffic in a public setting and be of value to a broader audience.
Stefanie Kreibe is Senior Communications Consultant with Mackenzie Health.