Indigo-Clean: A revolutionary new way to battle HAIs

According to the CDC, on any given day, roughly one out of every 25 patients in U.S. hospitals contracts an infection. The agency estimates approximately one-fourth of patients with HAIs develop the infection during surgery.

This content is sponsored by Indigo-Clean.

Infection control plays an essential role in determining patient outcomes and experience, and environmental cleaning and disinfection is a key component of a comprehensive regimen. Battling a Healthcare Acquired Infection (HAI) can often add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of treating a single patient and can result in significant financial penalties and lower Medicare reimbursements for those health care providers who score poorly, relative to their peers, in this area. For example, the excess cost of a single Surgical Site Infection (SSI) is, on average, $20,785, with much higher costs for complex procedures such as orthopedic joint replacements.1

During the past few years, UV technology has taken center stage with its robust environmental disinfection capabilities. UV and robotic disinfection devices are clearly valuable in supplementing manual cleaning processes. Stakeholders estimate the global UV disinfection equipment market to reach $2.8 billion by 2020, registering a compound annual growth rate of 15.3 percent from 2014 to 2020. Clearly, there is a need to create the safest environment possible for the patient, and UV light devices have become a go-to technology.

But in an industry where technological advancements and innovation are common, a new solution that utilizes LED light to reduce HAIs has moved to the forefront in a few short years. Indigo-Clean utilizes visible light, a patented and proven continuous environmental disinfection technology, to safely and automatically kill harmful bacteria in the air and on hard and soft surfaces. The technology harnesses the bacteria-killing power of a specific wavelength of light, 405nm, to penetrate the bacterial cell wall, inactivating the porphyrin molecule inside of it and preventing the bacteria from spreading.

Indigo-Clean Bolsters Your Current Cleaning Protocols

Indigo-Clean, a Kenall product, is an LED ceiling light fixture that installs easily into your operating room. Indigo-Clean does not require consumables or a trained technician to operate. The most frequently asked question…Is it safe? The answer is, "Yes," as there is less 405nm light in Indigo-Clean than is present in overhead sunlight on a typical day. Furthermore, with the advent of LED sources in the lighting industry, a variety of standards have emerged to ensure that all forms of visible light—including 405nm— are safe for the eye and skin. "Indigo-Clean has been tested against these standards and is considered as safe as normal, overhead lights", says Dr. Cliff Yahnke, Director of Clinical Affairs for Indigo-Clean.

Indigo-Clean complements existing cleaning protocols, which typically consist of terminal cleaning, disinfecting cleansers and UV devices. A key benefit of Indigo-Clean is that staff and patients can occupy the room when Indigo-Clean is on, meaning disinfection doesn't include room downtime. IndigoClean's white and indigo disinfection modes, paired with lighting controls, ensure continuous disinfection, 24/7, without the need for human intervention. This last point is significant given the focus on reducing labor costs that healthcare providers are experiencing today.

A Proven Solution to Reduce SSIs in the OR

At this year's AORN Conference, the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses, a clinical study on the effectiveness of Indigo-Clean technology, presented by Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, TN, was published. The results of the 12-month study were quite remarkable; showing a 73% reduction in SSIs. The study also noted that there was an 85% reduction in bacteria in the operating room. A proud moment for Indigo-Clean and the staff at Kenall, who believe in the effectiveness of narrow spectrum, LED technology and its ability to help save lives. "This study showing that we can reduce infections and save peoples' lives without impacting a provider's daily operation is tremendously rewarding on a personal level. When I first saw this technology 6 years ago, I knew this could be a game changer. It just made operational sense given the daily chaos that healthcare providers face," said Dr. Yahnke.

Additional clinical studies are concluding and are also showing positive results. In March of 2017, Holy Family Memorial Hospital in Manitowoc, WI, joined Indigo-Clean's Clinical Partners Program to evaluate the effectiveness of visible light disinfection technology in the OR. Upon reviewing their results, what they found was even better than anticipated: an average, daily bacterial reduction of 82 percent in the OR where Indigo-Clean was installed, even after adjusting for differences in room usage. "Our continued success in these independent, clinical evaluations shows that we know how to dose a room with Indigo-Clean to create a clinical result. This knowledge is patented and represents our commitment to the foundational science of 405nm disinfection," concluded Yahnke.

"The operating rooms are in constant use, so knowing there is no room downtime and disinfection starts immediately when the light is activated is key," says Lisa Sherman, operating room director at Holy Family. "We believe Indigo-Clean is the safest and most efficient solution for us to help reduce the risk of surgical site infections without impacting surgical suite efficiency."

Before Maury Regional Medical Center started their 12-month efficacy study, they were a clinical partner that trialed the lights in an OR in October of 2016. After installation, the team found an average bacterial reduction of 88 percent when comparing the pre- and post-installation period. This reduction is significant given the room had a 54 percent greater usage rate when Indigo-Clean was in use, as compared to the baseline period.

"Although we knew the Indigo-Clean lights would give us substantial results, given the thorough research and studies done on the lights at medical centers in other parts of the U.S., we were thrilled when our results were even better than we anticipated," said Lynnelle Murrell, Director of Infection Prevention at Maury Regional Medical Center.

Fighting HAIs is a Battle We Can Win

Studies show that the best way to reduce HAIs is a comprehensive cleaning protocol that incorporates many different infection prevention solutions. Indigo-Clean, a continuous environmental disinfection technology, is a strong and effective addition to a facility's infection prevention best practices. The technology is incorporated into the overhead lighting and provides automatic, safe disinfection, 24/7. Providing a safe environment is Indigo-Clean's mission. It is also the goal of every infection prevention solution provider. Working together, a variety of solutions forms a comprehensive strategy to reduce risk and ensure patient and staff safety. Indigo-Clean is a revolutionary, highly effective technology that can help provide a cleaner space, leading to a significant reduction in HAIs.

How do we win the battle against HAIs? We can never stop asking ourselves… "What more can we do?"

Learn more about Indigo-Clean, its clinical partners and their outcomes at

1 Zimlichman E., et al. "Health Care-Associated Infections: A Metaanalysis of Costs and Financial Impact on the US Health Care System", JAMA Intern Med, 173; 2039-46 (2013)

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