Disinfectants are the first line of defense against the transmission of pathogens, but human error can render disinfectants ineffective. To inactivate a microbe, a surface must be fully covered in disinfectant for a specific amount of time, known as the contact time or wet time. Current disinfectants, however, are transparent, making it almost impossible to verify that a surface has been completely covered. Most surfaces in healthcare settings are also waterproof, causing disinfectants to bead up and roll off, leaving gaps in coverage. Healthcare personnel compliance with contact times is also difficult to monitor in real-time, with workers often wiping off or touching the disinfectant prior to the required contact time. As a result, studies have shown that more than 50% of healthcare surfaces are not cleaned properly. Globally, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) affect 7-10% of all patients, affecting millions of lives and costing billions of dollars in losses every year; in the United States alone, HAIs lead to over 99,000 deaths and $45bn lost in the healthcare system. Of particular concern is the increasing number of HAIs with antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It’s clear that simply choosing the right disinfectant isn’t enough, and that how disinfectants are actually used is a critical factor in preventing infections. It has been well-documented that improving disinfection compliance and reducing human error can reduce HAIs by 40-90% and AMR by 25%.
Kinnos has developed Highlight®, a patented and award-winning color additive that is combined with existing disinfectants. Highlight mitigates human error by colorizing disinfectants blue to ensure surfaces are completely covered and fading from blue to colorless to indicate in real-time when decontamination is done. Highlight empowers health workers to disinfect surfaces correctly every single time they use a disinfectant, offering a much higher degree of safety and confidence. In addition to improving compliance and thoroughness of cleaning, Highlight also reduces surface corrosion caused by disinfectants (e.g. bleach on stainless steel) to save hospitals money and neutralizes the smell of disinfectants (such as bleach) to improve both staff and patient comfort and satisfaction.
Specifically for US hospitals where ready-to-use disinfectant wipes are commonly used, the Highlight system comprises of 1) a reusable lid that snaps onto existing disinfectant wipe canisters and 2) a disposable cartridge that contains sufficient Highlight colorant and batteries for one canister of wipes. As the wipe goes through the lid, it gets colorized (watch a short 30 second demo video here: [www.kinnos.us/highlight-wipes](www.kinnos.us/highlight-wipes)). The Highlight lid system not only helps hospitals save money by limiting staff from grabbing too many wipes at once, but it also retracts wipes after a period of inactivity to prevent wipes from drying out. Future iterations of the lid will also include data tracking (e.g. number of wipes used per room) as a way to audit the disinfection process.