Langley Memorial Hospital, along with other hospitals in the Fraser Health region, has taken a step forward in reducing the risk of infections with the implementation of Highlight, a new disinfectant wipe system.
The system uses wipes that have been colored blue, allowing staff to clearly see where they have cleaned and disinfected.
The color fades to clear if the cleaning is thorough and if the color remains, further cleaning is required.
This ensures that the risk of infections, such as C. difficile, CPO, C. auris and MRSA, is reduced, said Jody Miller Elliot, director of housekeeping strategies and initiatives for Fraser Health.
“We can see where the chemistry is applied on the surface to disinfect,” added Elliot. “We are the first health authority in Canada to use this system-wide, and it’s the first time it has been implemented on such a wide scale.”
The system developed by Columbia University students includes an additive powder for bleach that turns the bleach blue, allowing medical teams to visualize the complete coverage and disinfection of their protective gear.
Later the product was included under the newly-formed company, Kinnos, with two of the original founders still leading the company today and helping to train Fraser Health staff on how to use the Highlight system.
The training process for staff to use Highlight effectively involves Kinnos members traveling to Fraser Health to provide training on the cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
The protocols have been adopted into the quality assurance program and new hire orientation/training, shared Cameron Fowlstone, director of housekeeping services for Fraser Health.
“Preliminary results show that housekeeping staff are able to clean and disinfect more thoroughly with Highlight because they can visually see where the product has been applied and where they may have missed a cleaning opportunity.”
“If Highlight lingers on a surface, we know we need to go back and clean again,” said Fowlstone. “If the additional cleaning doesn’t eliminate the Highlight, it may indicate there is some bio-burden remaining on the surface - perhaps a chip or some slight damage where cleaning isn’t reaching. That’s an indication that the surface needs repairing to ensure bacteria isn’t getting caught.”
“Housekeeping staff are really excited about using Highlight because it helps them do their jobs more effectively.”
Jason Kang, co-founder and chief innovation officer for Kinnos, too commented on the training his company provides to fraser Health.
Training on Highlight usually takes 10 to 30 minutes, he said.
“The Highlight lid replaces a canister of wipe’s lid, then feeds out the wipes with added blue color at the press of a single button. We spend time training more on technique, because it’s really the way that we wipe down surfaces that translates to good surface disinfection,” he explained.
“We’re incredibly proud for Highlight to be part of the standard of care for Fraser Health’s cleaning methods, and as we complete our portfolio of products, we hope Highlight can become a standard improvement to disinfection in all healthcare facilities,” Kang concluded.
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