A scientist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has recently invented a method for organizing the disinfection of items contaminated with biological agents, which has the potential to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections.
The patented technology is available via patent license agreement to companies that would make, use, or sell it commercially.
Hospital-acquired infections are an important cause of mortality and morbidity, affecting an estimated 1.7 million patients and causing 100,000 deaths annually in the United States. As multiple drug-resistant organisms represent an increasing challenge to successfully treat, they also significantly contribute to increasing health care costs and unnecessary patient burden.
Contaminated surfaces contribute up to half of the risk for acquiring infections, as these organisms persist on environmental surfaces for many days.
To help hospitals reduce their rates of infection, a VA researcher has developed a method for organizing the disinfection of contaminated items that uses radio-frequency ID (RFID) tags.
After a patient is discharged, the entire hospital room and its contents must be thoroughly disinfected to get it ready for the next patient including items like the bed, nurse call light, TV remote, tray tables, phone, etc. By attaching RFID tags to these items, the hospital worker can be notified when disinfection of one item is complete and move onto the next item.
This system allows for an organized digital record of which items have been disinfected and which ones still need disinfecting.
- Provides methods for organizing (manually or through automated means) the process of disinfection of a designated area(s) contaminated with biological agent(s)
- Can reduce the risk of incomplete cleaning, which allows for organisms to remain on the room or equipment following patient discharge
- Should radically and systematically reduce the contamination on equipment or supplies and in-patient rooms
- Permits the creation of a log of the cleaning or disinfecting history of each RFID tagged item through a computer
- Businesses can commercialize the technology by licensing U.S. Patent 10,255,466 and multiple foreign patents from the Department of Veterans Affairs
- License fees paid to the Department of Veterans Affairs are negotiable
- Businesses that license the technology may have the opportunity to pursue collaborative research with the inventor
- Testing data may be available to companies evaluating the technology
- TechLink guides businesses through evaluation and licensing; services provided at no cost