Second Valley Health System Hospital Installs Bacteria Fighting Operating Room Light Fixtures

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Indigo-Clean™ light fixtures installed to help keep patients safe in Spring Valley Hospital’s new hybrid cardiac surgical suite

Spring Valley Hospital, part of The Valley Health System, recently unveiled its $1.8 million hybrid cardiac operating suite. The 930-square foot suite is used for advanced procedures like thoracic aneurysm repairs, minimally invasive heart surgeries and cardiac catheterizations. Within the suite, Indigo-Clean™ disinfectant light fixtures were installed to help proactively kill bacteria, thus reducing the risk of infections.

“We designed our new hybrid cardiac operating suite with our patients and community in mind,” said Leonard Freehof, CEO/Managing Director, Spring Valley Hospital. “Providing high-quality patient care, while maintaining a safe, clean environment for our patients is our number one priority. Knowing Indigo-Clean™ is a proven disinfectant technology, we felt it was important to partner Indigo-Clean with our current cleaning protocols within our new hybrid cardiac suite.”

Indigo-Clean fixtures use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to generate visible white light that also contains a narrow spectrum of indigo colored light. This indigo color uses a wavelength of 405 nanometers (nm) to automatically, safely and continuously disinfect the air, hard and soft surfaces. The 405nm light is absorbed by molecules within bacteria, producing a chemical reaction that kills the bacteria from the inside as if common household bleach has been released within the bacterial cells. When the OR is not being used, the lights can be switched to an Indigo-only mode, providing a higher degree of safe disinfection.
Freehof also noted, “We appreciate the ease of use of Indigo-Clean. Because the system is automated, safe and continuous, it doesn’t require a person to operate it which reduces risk of human error, and there is no room downtime which is important in a busy operating room.”

“Other disinfecting technologies are currently available to hospitals and health systems, but are optimized for daily or on-demand applications,” said Cliff Yahnke, Ph.D., Kenall’s Director of Clinical Affairs for Indigo-Clean. “Hospital staff needs to be trained to operate the technology, increasing cost and creating potential compliance issues which can easily undermine their benefits. Indigo-Clean uses visible light to automatically, continuously, and safely disinfect the environment 24/7 without the need for additional training or staff.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on any given day, around 1 in every 25 U.S. hospital patients contracts an infection in a healthcare setting. A CDC survey estimates that 75,000 hospital patients with hospital-acquired infections died during their hospitalization in 2011, and nearly one fourth (157,500 patients) developed infections from surgeries. Increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is estimated to kill up to 99,000 Americans and infect another 1.7 million each year.

“Surgical Site Infections are the most costly form of healthcare-acquired infection and providers are placing a renewed focus on improving cleanliness in the OR as part of a comprehensive bundle,” said Yahnke. “We are pleased The Valley Health System experienced the ease of use and the effectiveness of Indigo-Clean at the System’s newest hospital, Henderson Hospital, and chose to invest in the innovative technology at Spring Valley Hospital. Their commitment to patient safety is commendable; Indigo-Clean is proud to be a partner in their efforts.”

About Spring Valley Hospital
Spring Valley Hospital, located in southwest Las Vegas, is a full-service, tertiary care facility. The hospital offers emergency care, advanced cardiovascular and neurological services, comprehensive maternity services and a level III neonatal intensive care unit, an acute inpatient rehabilitation unit, outpatient wound/hyperbaric care and outpatient physical/occupational/speech therapy for adults and children.

About Kenall, manufacturer of Indigo-Clean™
Indigo-Clean™ is an affiliate of Kenall Manufacturing, which has earned a reputation for lighting challenging applications. Since its inception in 1963, Kenall has been known for superior quality, exceptional value, and durable solutions, and it is proud to provide sealed lighting for containment or clean spaces, security lighting for detention facilities, and specialized healthcare and transportation applications. Kenall products are designed and manufactured in the USA and meet the guidelines established under the Buy American Act and the North American Free Trade Agreement. For additional information on Indigo-Clean™, visit our website at http://www.indigo-clean.com or contact us directly at 262-891-9200.

Why Ransomware Cyberattacks Are The Greatest Threat

By | Technology

Have You Met The Dark Overlord? – Why Ransomware Cyberattacks Are The Greatest Threat To Your Practice That You’re Not Worried About – and How To Play Defense

Even for the most ardent luddite, it’s hard to avoid talk these days of “ransomware.” But for the uninitiated, Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users’ files unless a ransom is paid.1 As for why you’re hearing about it, that’s because it’s the fastest growing cybersecurity threat over the past two years. Ransomware exploded in 4Q14, when the necessary source code was published as “open source” and ransomware-as-a-service became available. These dramatically lowered the difficulty in getting started, and with little chance of associated arrest – the significant financial gains available from these types of attacks were simply too good for cybercriminals to pass up.

Since that time, ransomware payments have amounted to over one billion dollars per year, and those are just the payments that are reported. If that number doesn’t impress you, remember it is the result of an average ransom demand of under $700.2 That’s the “evil genius” of ransomware, they ask for just enough money that it’s not worth the hassle and delay of trying to fight it. What’s more, for small businesses, the threat level is critical. These businesses lack the resources, the security and the multi-layer defense programs to help protect themselves. And it’s only escalating.

For ASCs, this threat is multiplied by their liability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). Cybercriminals that can lock up a system’s data can also access it without restriction, including any and all “protected health information” (“PHI”) under the HIPAA. This threat has become so prevalent that in June, the HHS Office for Civil Rights released new HIPAA guidance on ransomware reinforcing activities required by HIPAA that can help organizations prevent, detect, contain, and respond to threats, and confirmed that paying the associated “ransom” will not protect these institutions from HIPAA enforcement3 – which can lead to fines of $50,000 per compromised medical record.

Cybercriminals target medical facilities because of the legacy software that many of these institutions employ. Old software suites and the old operating systems they often run on are dramatically easier to exploit, and the regulations associated with the maintenance of electronic medical records lead many of these companies to suffer old software for much longer than they should. The cost of updating is usually prohibitive and the array of options is dizzying. As a result, many ASCs rely on their belief that small, private institutions like theirs are simply not a target. They are wrong.

* On June 1, 2016, approximately 13,000 patient records were compromised by ransomware The Ambulatory Surgery Center at St. Mary in Langhorne, Pa.4

* Athens (GA) Orthopedic Clinic, which includes an outpatient surgery center, experienced a ransomware attack of about 397,000 current and former patients that was discovered June 28, 2016.5

Cybersecurity experts also warn of the special vulnerability of ASCs:

“Same-day surgery facilities may have an increase in vulnerability, due to the volume of patients, the increased mobility of the clinicians, and the level of security in place,”

* Ellen M. Derrico, MBA, a marketing/market development executive in healthcare and life science technologies and an independent consultant in West Chester, PA

“Critical medical equipment, such as what you would find at an ambulatory surgery center, is generally at risk due to the sensitive nature of the applications on that equipment … the applications often preclude traditional antivirus, anti-malware software, or normal patching timetables.”

* Erik Rasmussen, JD, cyber practice leader with Kroll’s Cyber Security and Investigations practice

For many years, HIPAA compliance has been relegated to an administrative status somewhere below obligatory continuing education requirements, and is often little more than a budget line item. However, this is an increasingly outdated way of looking at this critical practice element. Major liability insurance carriers are beginning to offer cybersecurity insurance, but also require a minimum level of security to even qualify, at any premium. Most legacy EMR/EHR systems simply aren’t adequate and COTS anti-virus software is woefully ineffective.

Forward-looking ASC administrators should seek out professional advice from a dedicated cybersecurity firm. NOTE: This is not asking your “IT guy” if he has software. Experts predict that the majority of private medical facilities will be targets of this type of malware, and the costs of these attacks exponentially outpace the cost of even the most exhaustive protection structures. In other words, an ounce of real protection will save you pounds and pounds of cure.