Monday, February 22, 2016

Touchless Technologies for Room Disinfection

I spent most of last weekend reviewing papers and preparing my slides on an invited lecture on new technologies for room disinfection. I will be giving this lecture in early March at the 17th International Congress on Infectious Diseases, Hyderabad, India.

In 2015, along with several colleagues, I co-authored this review of touchless technologies for room disinfection. Touchless technologies, specifically, the use hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) or ultraviolet violet-C emitting devices are a potential boon to infection prevention efforts.

In updating my slides, I am once again struck by the lack of high quality data on the use of either hydrogen peroxide vapor or UV-light on improved clinical outcomes. Without doubt, these technologies further reduce bioburden following a standard, manual, terminal clean of a hospital room but this may not always translate into decreased infection rates.  Also, implementation of touchless disinfection technologies, beyond the research realm and to scale across a large healthcare system is costly. To date, no formal cost benefit analysis on this front has been published.

Technologies are exciting and we are always looking for the infection prevention magic bullet but many unanswered questions remain.

At present we should be cautious about the incremental benefit of these disinfection technologies.