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Raising the Level of Cleanliness & Care in Assisted Living Facilities
Infections Assisted Living Facilities

Senior living has taken on a new meaning for many, with new communities centered on how to create a vibrant, active community for people to live and thrive in as they get older.  But for many, the choice to have to place a loved one into a long-term assisted living facility is difficult.  Depending on the level of care needed - from skilled nursing homes to assisted living facilities, it is important to find a facility that can meet the needs of the individual.

Families making the choice to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility often focus their research on available social activities, friendliness of staff, or the comfort of the space.  However, with the growing concern over hospital-acquired infections and community-acquired infections, the ability for a facility to effectively clean and disinfect on a regular basis to prevent and/or control infections is becoming a more critical factor in that decision.

infections in assisted living facilities

While there is no comprehensive system of collecting all data on outbreaks in long-term care facilities, the CDC indicates that up to 3 million serious infections occur in assisted living facilities each year.  A recent study by Columbia University School of Nursing, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, reported that between 11-59% of nursing home residents are "colonized" with certain types of "superbugs."  In other words, residents have germs on their skin, but have not yet become infected.  This is especially dangerous for a population that is already susceptible to illnesses due to their age and fragile immune systems. 

Efforts are underway to build a more comprehensive approach to addressing this public health issue in assisted living facilities.  Facilities are being educated on strategies, such as improved stewardship over the use of antibiotics, better infection prevention and other control mechanisms.   Prevention efforts include the establishment of policies and standard practices, including hand washing by all personnel and the use of appropriate disinfectants for cleaning. 

ultraviolet light for disinfection

While these methods are critical component of an overall strategy, facilities need additional tools to help protect those entrusted into their care.  Many cleaning methods rely on the diligence of staff to properly follow the instructions on disinfectants to ensure they are killing germs in a space.  Bacteria and viruses can often last for weeks or months on surfaces, if not handled properly.  However, there is now an option that provides an additional layer of defense against these germs. 

Violet Defense Technology has a proven, cutting-edge solution for facilities that is still cost-effective.  The new Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) UV line of products uses pulsed xenon technology to effectively kill bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses in minutes.   The S.A.G.E. UV whole room units are perfect for common spaces and individual rooms. These units can be built in for on-demand cleanings or deployed as a mobile unit to enhance existing cleaning protocols.  For more information, contact Violet Defense to find out how we can help assisted living facilities do more to protect the health and well-being of loved ones entrusted in their care. 

New Solutions Needed for Drug Resistance
antibiotic resistance MRSA

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Several articles were published this week on the latest "superbugs" and the dangers they pose to the public. An antibiotic-resistant bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae has taken hold in Houston putting the city at risk for broadly spreading this bacteria which may cause serious infections. A specific strain of this same bacteria in Nevada was found to be resistant to all 26 antibiotics used in the United States. 1

While much of the focus on the growing resistance to antibiotics has been focused on better treatment protocols for doctors and hospitals, we may need to look more broadly at the issue and how to deal with germs before people get sick. First, let's look at how antibiotic resistance actually occurs. As one author put it - "It's basically just Darwin's idea of the survival of the fittest, reduced to a microscopic level. 2"

Bacteria will find a way to resist antibiotics - whether that is changing their structure to resist the antibiotic effects, actually destroying the antibiotic like certain bacteria that can produce enzymes called beta-lactamases that actually destroy penicillin, or by acquiring drug-resistance from other bacteria. While antibiotics will kill many of the bacteria causing an illness, the few bacteria resistant to most, if not all antibiotics will grow and eventually take over.

The increase in antibiotic resistance is largely due to misuse of antibiotics through improper taking of the medication (i.e. stopping a 10-day dose when you start to feel better at day 7) or by taking antibiotics when they are not needed. So what can we do?

Preventing Infections

Preventing infections in the first place is actually the best solution for dealing with the growing resistance to antibiotics. Fewer infections also reduces the number of antibiotics that are used, reducing the chances of developing more antibiotic resistant bacteria and viruses over time.

We all know rule number one of stopping the spread of disease is to wash our hands with soap and water. For many years, antibacterial products were prevalent based on people looking for an additional layer of protection. However, the FDA eventually ruled that products with certain ingredients, such as triclosan, could no longer be marketed as manufacturers had not proven their products to be safe or that they were actually any better than plain soap and water. Some tests have even suggested that chemicals such as these were actually contributing to the antibiotic resistance problem.

Ultraviolet Light for Disinfection

According to the CDC, "Bacteria will inevitably find ways of resisting the antibiotics developed by humans, which is why aggressive action is needed now." One strategy that can be used to help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, is the deployment of proven germ-killing technology that microbes have not demonstrated an ability to build a resistance to since researchers discovered this benefit. Around since the beginning of time, UV can kill all bacteria, including drug-resistant bacteria and there have been no reports of microbes developing resistance to light-based methods. This is because UV light is actually attacking the DNA and RNA of microbes which high doeses of pure energy in the form of photons - hindering its ability to reproduce and ultimately killing the cells when enough UV energy has been delivered.

Violet Defense Technology has solutions that can bring this proven germ-killing light technology to every day spaces, including bathrooms, commercial buildings, doctor's offices, assisted living facilities, and restaurants. Contact us for more information.

1 http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/01/17/510227493/a-superbug-that-resisted-26-antibiotics

2 "How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?" 30 January 2001. HowStuffWorks.com. 17 May 2017

New Approach to Fighting Noro-viruses
Norovirus

As summer approaches, so does the end of the intensive Norovirus season.  For the past several months, schools, cruise ships, hospitals, and any other location where people are in close proximity have been facing outbreaks of this disease.  According to the CDC, as many as 21 million people contract Norovirus every year.  About half of all outbreaks of food-related illness are caused by Norovirus.  

Unfortunately with no vaccination and a disease that can spread easily, outbreaks often lead to people quarantined on their dream vacation or schools closed for extensive cleaning.    

HOW NOROVIRUS SPREADS

  • Consuming food or drink that is contaminated with Norovirus
  • Touching surfaces or objects with norovirus and then putting hands in your mouth
  • Direct contact with someone else who is infected or sharing food or utensils with them

Unfortunately, the disease tends to spread further due to food handlers who may not wash their hands properly.  Alcohol hand sanitizers are not enough to stop the spread of the virus.  It is recommended that people wash their hands with soap for at least 30 seconds - the bubbles and friction are needed to help remove the virus from your hands effectively.

NOROVIRUS PREVENTION

While hand washing is a critical part of the strategy, it will not take care of the problem on its own.  Noroviruses can survive on surfaces for weeks.  Ask some of the cruise ships that have had back-to-back outbreaks during their sailings and over 10,000 people infected on cruise ships in the past 5 years.

It's time for a new weapon to add to the arsenal to fight the spread of these harmful diseases.  Violet Defense Technology has UV room disinfection solutions that can be incorporated into cruise ships, restaurants, schools, office buildings, and more. With our patented technology, we can kill bacteria, mold, and viruses quickly to help combat the spread of illnesses.  

Contact us to find out more information about how we can help.

 
Protecting children from germs
Jessica Jones
Natural Cleaning Power of Sunlight
Sunshine - Alternate to Clorox Bleach

Spring Cleaning

When spring cleaning time hits, check out any home magazine and you'll see a cadre of the latest tips on how to clean your home faster, deeper, or with less chemicals.  We all want to find fast, inexpensive, but effective ways to clean our spaces, freshen up our linens that have been closed up all winter, or to get rid of the mildew on our gear that's been hidden away in our closet for too long.

You can spend a lot of time soaking and scrubbing those items, or you can take the advice of many sites and take them outside and hang them on a clothesline for a day.  Remember the days when we all put our clothes out to dry and they smelled a little fresher and our whites were a little whiter?

That's because we were using the power of sunlight which has provided us a natural, effective bleaching agent that is gentler than chemical bleaches.  Sunlight has the ability to kill bacteria, mildew, mold, and even viruses.  One of the great things about putting your clothes out on the line was you hung them in the morning, went about your day, and when you came back, they were fresh, clean, and dry.  

Ultraviolet Light for Disinfection

While the days of clothes dried in the sun are gone for most of us - left to the nostalgic memories of childhood - we can still get the germ-killing benefits that sunlight brought us.  Violet Defense Technology has created a technology that can bring the power of sunlight indoors into every day spaces and uses.  With our S.A.G.E. whole room units, leave the room and the germ-killing lights will activate.  When you come back later, you are returning to a room where bacteria, fungi, and mold have been killed.

Contact us for more information or to get a quote on how you can bring the power of sunlight to your indoor world.         

Making a First Impression
 Every detail matters to make the grade - both in terms of sanitation and the impression you make on your patrons.

Every detail matters to make the grade - both in terms of sanitation and the impression you make on your patrons.

By Jessica Jones

In my hometown, there is a regular feature on the nightly news – highlighting the latest restaurants to have failed their food and safety inspections – or talking about the latest local spot to have closed down due to inability to correct their violations in a timely manner.  And of course, we have all heard the stories of a major restaurant chain that suffered a major hit to their sales (around 30% decrease) and stock prices due to multiple outbreaks of E. coli and norovirus in their restaurants.

Foodborne Illness Risk Factors

In Florida alone, there were 334,436 violations related to foodborne illness risk factors and public health interventions in 2015-2016 according to the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.  Over 65,000 of those were due to food-contact surfaces not being properly cleaned and sanitized.

Clearly this hasn’t been enough to majorly impact the restaurant industry – according to the National Restaurant Association, sales are growing with projected sales of $799 billion in 2017.  But what is it doing to a restaurant’s ability to attract new customers and maybe more importantly retain the ones that they have.  Based on a survey conducted on behalf of SCA Tissue North America, “80% of restaurant patrons believe that restroom cleanliness reflects the hygiene standards throughout the restaurant – including the kitchen and food prep areas.”  Furthermore, the study indicated that a negative restroom experience doesn’t just turn away a single customer, but can create damaging reviews and word-of-mouth resulting in overall decline in customers. 

Ultraviolet Light for Disinfection

Violet Defense offers a bathroom fan cover as part of its Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) line that uses the germ killing power of light to kill bacteria in the bathrooms.  The system uses an intelligent control system to automatically adapt its cleaning cycle to activate when room becomes unoccupied and adjust how long it stays on to match the level of traffic in your bathrooms. 

The whole room units can be deployed in kitchen and dining spaces to enhance your food safety efforts.  The pulsed Xenon system deploys a powerful, broad spectrum of UV and violet blue light to kill bacteria and viruses, including E. coli, Salmonella, and noro-viruses.  Not only does UV kill germs, but it breaks down grease as well.  Due to our patented technology, our solutions have a very small form factor and can be seamlessly integrated into nearly any room.

Ensuring food safety and cleanliness can be easy with UV room disinfection.  Contact Violet Defense Technology today to get the solution that will help you meet your safety standards while assuring your patrons that you are putting their health and wellness first.  Contact us today at info@violetdefense.com or 407-433-1104 to receive a custom quote to meet your restaurant’s needs.

Appealing to the “Germ-Aware Generation”
Germophobe or Germ Aware

Summer is almost here.  Everyone is busy making their summer travel plans.  Let the hours of online research into finding that perfect hotel begin.  Travelers immediately eliminate options that don’t meet their standards – cleanliness being among the most important factors.

Meanwhile hotels are busy trying to find that special something that will set them apart from all of the other hotel chains – especially for the millennial population.  According to the United Nations, it’s estimated that more than $180 billion in annual tourism revenue comes from the 200 billion millennials.

Hotels have employed special online reviewers, developed special rewards programs, changed their core hotel experiences – all to better suit the desires of this population driving the tourism industry.  A recent study by Choice Hotels indicated that “61% of millennials surveyed said they carry hand sanitizer when traveling.”  This generation has more individuals that identify themselves as "germophobes" (42% of Millenials vs 27% of Generation X and 21% of Boomers) according to a study done by Purell Hand Sanitizer.  But what are hotels doing to tailor themselves to this unique characteristic of the current generation?

Hotel Cleanliness Matters

Cleanliness is one of the most important factors for individuals when making a decision about their hotel.  Now imagine a hotel protected by Violet Defense Technology.  Your bathroom would be cleaned using cutting-edge technology designed to begin killing bacteria as soon as the light is activated when you are done in the room.  Your entire room is disinfected from all those hidden germs left behind from the last guest or if a guest didn’t want housekeeping to disturb them and clean up their room today.  Violet Defense offers whole room versions and a bathroom fan version – both available in anti-bacterial and anti-microbial versions.  The anti-bacterial version uses the power of visible violet blue light to kill bacteria, while the anti-microbial version uses a pulsed xenon system to deploy powerful, broad spectrum of UV and violet blue light to kill bacteria and viruses. 

Want your hotel to have the latest in germ-fighting technology?  Contact us today for more information about our germ killing light to receive a custom quote to meet your hotel’s needs – and maybe more importantly – the needs of the millennial generation eager to spend their growing travel budgets.