Christopher Truitt, Chief Science Officer
Sick leaves, travel delays, rescheduled appointments and meetings—infection can trap one into a whirlwind of problems and disrupt our day to day lives. An untreated infection can have life threatening implications, weaken the immune system, and become the source of long-term illnesses. Further, the outbreak of the highly contagious COVID-19 virus is severely impacting the health of people worldwide. Acting as a shield against infections, GermBlast, a premier infection prevention solution provider, helps businesses, healthcare facilities, schools, homes, and more with its safe, environmentally-friendly, and powerful disinfection service. With a mission to eradicate illness from everyday life, the company is dedicated to creating safe environments that can enhance people’s health and not risk it.
In an interview with the editorial team at MD Tech Review, Christopher Truitt, Chief Science Officer at GermBlast, discusses at length how his company’s multifaceted approach to remove and destroy infectious agents can create cleaner, safer, and germ-free environments.
Could you provide a brief overview of your company?
We started GermBlast back in 2009, and prior to that, we were involved in medical sales. In our interaction with our clients, we realized that while hospitals put in their best efforts to reduce infection rates, they weren’t really able to lower them significantly. As such, the core idea behind establishing GermBlast was to partner with healthcare facilities and provide them with a broad range of resources to help them control their hospital-acquired infection rates.
We follow a multifaceted approach to clean and disinfect the hospital environment and also provide healthcare institutions with a software program. With the software, hospitals derive insights into the efficacy of their staff in cleaning and disinfecting the surroundings on a daily basis. By plugging in this information, healthcare facility managers can monitor the cleaning and disinfection procedures and track their progress. We also have a branch focusing on education, where we train the hospital staff, environmental service technicians as well as nurses on proper infection control techniques and best practices to be followed. Aligning ourselves with the latest technology trends, we constantly seek to innovate in the infection control field. By developing, testing, and offering robust solutions, we help our clients control the spread of disease-causing organisms.
Numerous clients we have partnered with have witnessed a significant reduction in their infection rate data, which is one of the key metrics that determines the success of the GermBlast infection control process.
For instance, the rate of infection caused by Clostridium difficile has remarkably decreased for many clients after deploying our solution and following our training programs. We make it a point to visit the client site and monitor the cleanliness of the environment using different techniques and ensure that the staff is always up to date on best practices.
From your perspective, how has the pandemic impacted the healthcare industry’s approach to sanitization, and in this respect, how have you changed your strategy?
With the effect of COVID-19 on public health worsening by the day, healthcare providers are singularly focused on ensuring that their staff is following sanitizing protocols properly and performing their job with utmost efficiency. To this end, we’ve bolstered our training procedures to ensure that the hospital staff, environmental service technicians, and nurses use the chemical disinfectants properly and clean their environment thoroughly. We’ve also broadened our focus on air quality. In a hospital setting, healthcare providers are always concerned about the negative pressure rooms and the spread of infectious diseases like tuberculosis or influenza. Now more than ever, we are concentrating our efforts on effectively cleaning and decontaminating the air. For this purpose, we have been providing different resources and conducting research in this area to improve air quality and limit the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
What is the approach you follow while catering to your clients?
We follow a standard process wherein we train our staff while engaging with a client. At the same time, our process is always evolving to align and adapt to the latest trends. I am in charge of the research and innovation aspect of our training process, focusing on how to adopt the best procedures to ensure a clean environment and partner with our clients and assure them of the effectiveness of our cleaning and disinfecting process. We have noticed that while larger hospitals have dedicated teams for disinfection purposes, in rural hospitals, the staff is often juggling between multiple aspects of infection control. When we partner with hospitals in rural areas, they appreciate the way we educate their staff and impart our knowledge. Sometimes, rural hospitals might not be able to invest heavily in an equipment or technology solution and train their staff to utilize it properly. In such cases, we undertake the complete responsibility to train and deploy our staff to implement and utilize our technology at the client’s facility.
Could you brief on the technologies you leverage to serve your clients?
We utilize various technologies and techniques to eliminate infection causing germs from the environment. We are always adapting and innovating and prefer using environmentally-friendly green chemicals instead of harsh, hazardous chemicals to kill germs. For the application of chemicals, we have been using electrostatic sprayers for a decade, which we find to be highly effective. Other techniques we use include UVC devices, hydrogen peroxide vapors and misters, and various air scrubbers using UVC technologies in HVAC systems.
Could you elaborate on the ongoing education and support that you offer to clients?
Our education programs center around continuous research and knowledge of the evolving best practices. Our team participates in seminars and training programs to stay abreast of the latest developments and best practices in the infection control field. We partner with our clients and share the knowledge with them to keep them updated as well. Lately, we’ve been providing nurses and environmental service technicians with videos on the best techniques to disinfect a hospital room, an OR suite, and even on the importance of hand washing. We also visit our clients’ facilities and conduct training for them. If the client needs additional information about best practices or hands-on experience, we extend our support accordingly.
What does the future hold for GermBlast?
Our next big step is to expand our footprint nationwide. Currently, we operate primarily in the South, including Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Colorado. We are also planning to launch our air quality monitoring technology that we have developed in-house. We will continue to develop and apply innovative technologies to stay ahead of the market competition.