New platform helps care homes stay on top of hygiene management

Hygiene Audits’ cloud-based system aims to streamline cleaning schedules, risk tracking and audit reports

Glena Hahn (left) and Yvonne O’Loughlin, co-founders of Hygiene Audits

Glena Hahn (left) and Yvonne O’Loughlin, co-founders of Hygiene Audits

 

They say timing is everything in business and Glenda Hahn and Yvonne O’Loughlin appear to have theirs spot on. Over the last 16 months, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of hygiene and infection control in care home settings, yet many facilities are struggling under the constant burden of intense cleaning protocols and keeping on top of compliance documentation. This prompted Hahn and O’Loughlin to put their heads together to develop Hygiene Audits, a one-stop management and compliance system for care homes, designed to help them streamline everything from cleaning schedules and tracking risk to keeping on top of hygiene audit reports.

Hygiene Audits’ cloud-based system speeds up all aspects of hygiene management, while reducing reliance on paper records and providing live compliance auditing. “Keeping up to date with practice guidelines and constantly changing regulations is extremely challenging and care homes find themselves struggling with never-ending paperwork,” Hahn says. “Our software provides a faster and smarter way to manage compliance, to standardise hygiene practices and to reduce costs. Our solution provides facilities with total confidence that they are compliant and will remain so.”

The company’s founders have accumulated four decades of experience in acute and community healthcare settings between them and O’Loughlin also has a master’s degree in infection prevention and control from the Royal College of Surgeons. They began work on their product in 2019 and by the time they had completed the New Frontiers programme at the Synergy Centre at TU Dublin, Tallaght, they had an MVP. The company subsequently had help validating its product in a clinical setting from the Health Innovation Hub and having experienced a delay due to Covid, the system was launched in March this year.

Standards

“Having worked in healthcare for a long time, we had seen the problem of staying on top of environmental hygiene at first hand and it’s an issue that’s common to every healthcare facility everywhere. On top of this, the pandemic has underlined how any decline in standards plays a major role in the transmission of healthcare associated infections,” Hahn says.

“Our system, with its easy-to-use apps, provides care teams with digital tools to give them easy access to their daily hygiene tasks, whilst also guiding them through the correct way to clean every time. The platform gathers, monitors and displays the data on a KPI dashboard, thereby allowing managers to quickly identify problems and take corrective action to reduce the risk of infection transmission.”

Hahn says Hygiene Audits’ system is different to other solutions on the market because of its ease of use and customisation for each facility. This means every potential risk area is captured, whereas most existing systems use generic templates that don’t cover every nook and cranny.

Initially,the system will be rolled out to care homes,followed by hospitals and other healthcare settings. The revenue model is SaaS based on a recurrent yearly fee and the product, which is suitable for one site or multi-site nursing home groups, is designed to travel beyond the Irish market. Hygiene Audits expects to employ five people by the end of this year.

Investment

Investment in the project to date has been just over €100,000, which includes competitive start funding from Enterprise Ireland, an award of €40,000 from the European Institute of Technology and feasibility support from Naas LEO. The company is in the process of finalising an investment round of €200,000, with matched funding due from Enterprise Ireland under its HPSU programme.

“While other solutions on the market have some of the functions offered by Hygiene Audits, they are generally not optimised for regulatory hygiene processes and controls in the same way,” Hahn says. “There is a growing market for cost efficient solutions to hygiene compliance issues and we intend leveraging partnerships to gain faster access to the global market.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.