TOMI Environmental Solutions, Inc. (“TOMI”) a global decontamination and infection prevention company that specializes in disinfection/decontamination sales and services, including the manufacturing, sale and licensing of its SteraMist, a hydrogen peroxide-based mist/fog that is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), announced the publication of a peer reviewed paper titled “Use of Novel Approaches to Reduce Clostridium Difficile in an Inner City Hospital,” which concluded that the use of TOMI’s SteraMist BIT contributed to the substantial reduction in a Wilmington, Delaware hospital’s Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff) burden. The paper was written by Dr. Helene Paxton, MS, MT (ASCP), PhD, CIC, Infection Preventionist, Bio Guidance, LLC and member of TOMI’s Science Advisory Board, and outlines the incorporation of SteraMist BIT into everyday disinfection protocols of a healthcare facility. This paper was peer reviewed by Dr. Uyen Nguyen.
“In the healthcare space, TOMI has been making strides to continuously demonstrate the efficacy of SteraMist in combating and reducing hospital infections,” said Dr. Halden Shane, CEO and Chairman of TOMI Environmental Solutions, Inc. “This further review and publication of the efficacy of TOMI’s SteraMist is an important verification in our battle to address the increase in C. diff infections, which lead to thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year.”
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Nearly 300 people die in the U.S. every day from an infection they acquired during their hospital stay, and the death toll is even higher internationally. Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs),including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are becoming an international crisis. Bacterial spores such as C. diff have become an even larger problem in hospitals and in their respective communities, and it is estimated that nearly half a million Americans contract C. diff every year.
TOMI’s EPA registered BIT (Binary Ionization Technology®), branded as SteraMist, converts a low percentage hydrogen peroxide into a hydroxyl radical by passing the liquid through an atmospheric cold plasma arc, a technology initially developed under the sponsorship of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. SteraMist BIT quickly destroys deadly viruses, bacteria and spores before they pose a threat to patients, healthcare workers and their communities.
TOMI’s SteraMist helps hospitals reduce their HAI rates by destroying the microscopic germs that may be missed during the manual cleaning process. TOMI’s germ fighting technology uses an environmentally-friendly process, the only by-product of which is oxygen and humidity. The SteraMist aerosol quickly destroys infectious germs in less than five seconds. Hospitals using SteraMist devices have reported and published outcomes in papers and in a peer-reviewed journal showing significant decreases in C. diff rooms after the use of SteraMist.
Dr. Shane further stated: “Hospitals can and should do more to keep patients safe. No one wants a loved one to go to the hospital and contract C. diff or any hospital acquired infection. Hospitals routinely using SteraMist have repeatedly demonstrated lower infection rates, which leads to enhanced patient and employee safety. Hospitals using our technology can stop the spread of infections while improving their bottom line.”
Uniquely designed for ease of use and portability, a hospital’s environmental services staff can operate SteraMist quickly without disrupting hospital operations. With a five second exposure time, the surface unit can disinfect a hospital room’s high touch surfaces and delicate medical equipment in less than 10 minutes. SteraMist is designed to go in, above, beyond, under and around objects in patient rooms, operating rooms, equipment rooms, emergency rooms, intensive care units and public areas. SteraMist does not damage medical equipment. Many hospitals in the U.S., Europe, West Africa, Central America and Asia have used SteraMist in their decontamination protocols. SteraMistis also used in skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, long term acute care facilities and childcare facilities.
About TOMI Environmental Solutions, Inc.
TOMI Environmental Solutions, Inc. (OTCQX:TOMZ) is a global decontamination and infection prevention company, providing eco-friendly environmental solutions for indoor surface disinfection through manufacturing, sales and licensing of its premier Binary Ionization Technology® (BIT) platform, which was invented under a defense grant in association with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. BIT uses a low percentage Hydrogen Peroxide as its only active ingredient to produce a hydroxyl radical (OH ion) and is represented by the TOMI SteraMist brand of products, which produce a germ-killing aerosol that behaves like a gas.
TOMI’s products are designed to service a broad spectrum of commercial structures including hospitals and medical facilities, cruise ships, office buildings, hotel and motel rooms, schools, restaurants, for non-food safety in meat and produce processing facilities, military barracks, and athletic facilities. TOMI’s products and services have also been used in single-family homes and multi-unit residences.
TOMI also develops training programs and application protocols for its clients and is a member in good standing of The American Biological Safety Association, The American Association of Tissue Banks, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and The Restoration Industry Association. For additional information, visit www.tomimist.com or contact us at email@example.com.
Certain written and oral statements made by us may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Reform Act”). Forward-looking statements are identified by such words and phrases as “we expect,” “expected to,” “estimates,” “estimated,” “current outlook,” “we look forward to,” “would equate to,” “projects,” “projections,” “projected to be,” “anticipates,” “anticipated,” “we believe,” “could be,” and other similar phrases. All statements addressing operating performance, events, or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, including statements relating to revenue growth, earnings, earnings-per-share growth, or similar projections, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. They are forward-looking, and they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our anticipated results. The information provided in this document is based upon the facts and circumstances known at this time. We undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements after the date of this release.
“The C Diff Foundation’s mission is to educate and advocate for Clostridium difficile infection prevention, treatments, support, and environmental safety worldwide.
The C Diff Foundation’s organization is comprised of 100% volunteering members who are dedicated to our mission and adhere to the Foundation’s Code of Ethics
which prohibits the endorsement and promotion of products, services, medications, or clinical studies in progress.
All website entries, public presentations, and workshops are to raise C. diff. infection awareness in all areas of the C Diff Foundation’s mission statement, including infection prevention, sepsis, healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance, antibiotic stewardship and provide education on all the above.”
Infection Control Today (ICT) asked board members of the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) for their perspectives on key issues relating to infection prevention and healthcare textiles management.
Q: What are the gaps in research that are needed to advance healthcare textile science?
A: We view gaps as opportunities for advancements in healthcare textile science, and these opportunities are in large part being driven by infection prevention’s changing landscape. Growing drug resistance, the threat of pandemics and the cost of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) require that we gain a much better understanding of the morphology of organisms as it relates to their resistance and the chain of transmission. The list of infectious agents continues to grow and include prions, Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Ebola, etc. Each is unique and presents its own challenges for healthcare textiles, including the need to protect patient and staff from exposure situations (e.g., via personal protective equipment), assisting in patient-care activities (from exam gowns to incontinence products), and ultimately the need for them to be effectively cleaned/sanitized for reuse. The emergency guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Ebola highlight the point: all items including textiles exposed to an Ebola patient must be incinerated. Though it is a very pragmatic and understandable decision, it is not an effective or sustainable one.
A better understanding of these infectious agents will allow for:
– The development of barrier fabrics that include chemical finishes that offer better and more specialized protection for the wearer
– Optimized cleaning and sanitizing conditions in the reprocessing of reusable products
– The use of scientifically based guidelines (not emotional ones) that effectively mitigate (not displace) infection risk in the handling contaminated textiles – (i.e., exposure of waste handlers vs. handling by trained reprocessing professionals). — Bradley J. Bushman, vice president of technical affairs, Standard Textile Co. Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
Q: What are the imperatives about proper healthcare laundry processes that infection preventionists (IPs) must know?
A: IPs must be well-versed in the end-to-end healthcare laundry process, especially in the context of potential infection risks from contaminated healthcare textiles (HCTs). Contamination risks extend well beyond the actual wash process. While it is imperative to have a validated wash process that consistently produces hygienically safe and clean textiles, close attention must be paid to the many contamination risks after the wash process. HCT contamination after the wash process is just as dangerous as contamination from improperly washed HCTs.
Key areas to look for potential HCT contamination include:
– Dirty finish surfaces that may touch clean HCTs
– Carts, after being loaded, that are improperly stored outside on a loading dock
– HCT transfer carts that are not protected from the environment via fluid-proof covers or doors
– Dirty hands of laundry workers handling clean HCTs
– Dirty/linty equipment used to process HCTs
– The presence of dirty/soiled HCTs in an area with clean HCT
– Contaminated air flowing into a clean HCT area.
Also, it’s imperative to ensure that laundry workers are well-trained in hygiene concepts such as proper hand hygiene; proper environmental cleaning; the importance of functional separation of soiled and clean; and proper HCT sorting, washing, drying, and finishing. — Gregory Gicewicz, HLAC immediate past president; president, Sterile Surgical Systems, Tumwater, Wash.
Q: How important is it for healthcare laundry personnel to work with IPs and other stakeholders to achieve good outcomes?
A: It is very important. It’s essential to have open communication and collaboration between the healthcare IP and the laundry profession. There must be a sharing of knowledge and operational details, both the laundry operations and the healthcare facility operation, for each professional to be able to positively interact with each other.
The IP is involved in and responsible for observation, or surveillance, of aspects relating to both patient safety and infection prevention. This includes the collection and analysis of infection prevention and control data; review of products and procedures; follow-up on infection risk; prevention and control approaches; educational interventions to avoid or mitigate infection; and the application of changes mandated by regulatory and licensing agencies such as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The more knowledge the IP has concerning the operations of a laundry, the more epidemiological principles can be applied to improve patient care outcomes.
In welcoming the IP, a bond can be established that allows both entities to address ongoing issues with desired outcomes. Utilizing observation to follow the laundry progression of textiles in a step-by-step process will enable the IP to determine if there are perceived breaches in the process and can share these concerns with the laundry operator and personnel. In turn, the healthcare laundry operator may notify the healthcare facility administration and IP of concerns they may encounter in the healthcare laundry. — Joan Blanchard, RN, MSS, CNOR, CIC, infection prevention assistant, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Littleton, Colo.
Q: What are some ways that IPs can help facilitate dialogue and collaboration with healthcare laundry professionals?
A: We encourage IPs to have a strong, trusted partnership with their healthcare laundry vendor. A good practice is for the hospital IP team members to treat their healthcare laundry professionals as part of their extended team, where there’s an ongoing sharing of updates in infection control and prevention efforts and in the regulatory and licensing arenas. By establishing a working relationship with healthcare laundry personnel, problems that arise with the laundry process or the healthcare facility process can be more readily corrected and unresolved issues can be more directly addressed.
Important to this team-style relationship is for the IP to visit the healthcare laundry to become acquainted with the personnel responsible for administering the laundry. In fact, the laundry should be open to at least yearly visits from their IPs. These visits are more productive when they’re treated collaboratively. The purpose of visits is to ensure that the processes used by the healthcare laundry is safe and supported by research*. Utilizing HLAC’s Standards Checklist (available at www.hlacnet.org) as a guideline during these visits ensures that a thorough over-view of the laundry process is accomplished. — Gregory Gicewicz, HLAC immediate past president; president, Sterile Surgical Systems, Tumwater, Wash.; and Joan Blanchard, RN, MSS, CNOR, CIC, infection prevention assistant, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Littleton, Colo.
Q: What are the unresolved key issues related to infection prevention and healthcare textiles that remain for the future?
A: Without education and awareness, the same myths about healthcare laundry that have persisted for a long time will continue. For example:
– Myth: The laundry industry is regulated – by someone.
– Myth: The laundry industry is regulated by the government.
– Myth: If the hospital is accredited then so is the laundry.
– Myth: All textiles are washed the same.
– Myth: When it comes to knowing all about laundry matters, the hospital IP is on top of it.
– Myth: Every healthcare laundry is accredited.
Only the education of healthcare professionals, including IPs, can overcome these myths.
Furthermore, in the expanding world of pathogens, we will continue to see more bacteria and viruses developing more lethal strains and antibiotics becoming less and less effective. HLAC believes that going forward we should be striving for a more robust, collaborative effort among healthcare laundries, IPs, environmental services, laundry departments, quality management, and healthcare resource and materials management professionals.
Another point: It’s not unrealistic for hospitals to begin to look at healthcare textiles as an investment in quality patient outcomes and not just an expense. Bear in mind that the processing of healthcare textiles is a reimbursable expense by CMS because healthcare textiles have a direct impact on patient outcomes.
Because of these issues, we believe that every laundry that is providing healthcare textile processing services should be HLAC-accredited. Doing so would ensure that all patients receive textiles that are processed to the highest level, thus safeguarding that three of the four major principles of medical ethics are afforded of all patients: Justice, beneficence, and non-maleficence. We believe that there is a moral and ethical obligation to do the right thing for patients and processing healthcare textiles to the highest level possible helps to fulfill those obligations. We believe that working collaboratively, IPs and laundry operators will be key players in this process. — Joan Blanchard, RN, MSS, CNOR, CIC, infection prevention assistant, Littleton Adventist Hospital, Littleton, Colo.; and John Scherberger, HLAC board president; president, Healthcare Risk Mitigation, Spartanburg, S.C.
1. Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. CMS Hospital Infection Control Worksheet. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/GenInfo/Downloads/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-15-12-Attachment-1.pdf Accessed July 14, 2016.
2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Toxic and Hazardous Substances: Bloodborne Pathogens, 29 CFR § 1030 (2012). Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
3. Siegel JD, Rhinehart E, Jackson M, Chierello L. the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Committee. 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings. 2007.
4. Accreditation Standards for Processing Reusable Textiles for use in Healthcare Facilities. 2016 ed Frankfort, IL. Health care Laundry Accreditation Council. 2016.
5. Protecting Workers Families—DHHS(NIOSH) Pub No. 1002-113. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
6. AINSI/AAMI ST65 2008/R 2013 Processing of Reusable Surgical Textiles for Use in Healthcare Facilities. 2013. Arlington, VA.: Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation: 2013.
7. Guideline for Surgical Attire. In: Guidelines for Perioperative. Denver, CO: AORN, Inc.: 2016.