The Problem

Hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading causes of death in the United States—killing more Americans than AIDS, breast cancer, and automobile accidents combined. In the US, the CDC estimates that roughly 1.7 million HAI’s, from all types of bacteria combined, cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths each year. Many studies prove dust and bacteria are a deadly combination. Recent studies prove MRSA can live on a single dust particle for over five months.

In the hospital environment, current floor cleaning methods are inconsistent. The standard of “visual cleanliness” is often applied to validate a clean floor. However, what we have discovered is that inconsistent cleaning levels exist because of the following three reasons:

  1. A room’s lighting is inconsistent.
  2. A room’s lighting is too diffused
  3. The angle at which the light shines onto the surface is not ideal

When traveling in a hospital, lighting varies greatly from room-to-room. Some rooms are bright, others are dim. Even in brightly lit rooms, there are areas of the room which are shadowy such as under furniture, under a bed or operating table, behind a door, in a closet or corner, etc. Furthermore, many housekeeping activities are performed at night or under very low level lighting conditions (i.e. while patients are sleeping). Even when rooms are fully lit, the light usually only “blankets” the room.

Some common light sources include:

  • Light from a lamp
  • Fluorescent light from the wall or ceiling
  • Natural lighting through a window

When these light sources shine down upon the floor surface, they're just not very helpful at identifying small particulate matter. So when performing a housekeeping or inspection activity, the lighting that is currently being relied on to clean and inspect hard floor surfaces is often not very effective.