One in every four people will catch the flu this year, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Colds and viruses are spread primarily by contact with people and objects that are infected. We touch many such potential infection sources every day – pens, ATM’s, grocery carts, doorknobs and even money. According to research by the Mayo Clinic, some influenza viruses can live for up to 48 hours on objects such as pens, doorknobs and other shared surfaces.
Of all the objects that we share during the day, pens hold a special place in our culture. There is no other device that has proven so necessary for the flow of business, which is handled for such extended periods and is routinely brought so close to our faces. We use shared pens to sign credit card receipts, make lists, write down contact information and much more. Students are required to use shared pens and pencils many times every day. We need pens but we don’t need the bacteria and microorganisms that ride along with them.
A study from the University of Arizona found that the average pen has eight owners and countless users during its effective lifespan. You can expect any pen shared in a bank to harbors 2400 germs per square inch, which makes it several orders of magnitude dirtier than a toilet seat.
The origin of clean technology
That’s why we founded Cleanint. We began with unique and powerful concept: Make it simple – make it clean. That principle has driven all the cleaning technology that we have developed. We specialize in building innovative solutions that clean shared
surfaces flawlessly without getting in the way. Our practical solutions allow adults and children to study, work and play with peace of mind.
Our leading solution is Cleanpen, a pen holder with a sponge and sanitizer to eliminate bacteria and common viruses when you pass a pen through it. One pass through the Cleanpen sanitizer and your pen is safe. There is nothing new to learn because it simply replaces whatever pen holder you are using right now. The Cleanpen can be branded with customized marketing messages to connect with the end user while cleaning the pen at the same time. Cleanpen can be mounted to any clean, smooth surface such as a desk, whiteboard or clipboard—serving as a convenient dock for your pen. Using Cleanpen in shared work areas and public access points helps to create a cleaner, healthier environment for customers and employees.
To discover just how effective Cleanpen could be in reducing sick days among students and increasing average daily attendance, we introduced our Cleanpen in 2012 at an Elementary School, within a Central Texas School District.
The goal of our project was to determine how effective our Cleanpen was in reducing bacterial load present on student pens in a school setting and compare the results to untreated pens in the same setting. We conducted the study in two phases.
In the first phase, we evaluated the naturally occurring bacterial load on pens used by students in high traffic areas: the front office sign in book and a sign out sheet in the cafeteria. In this phase, we kept the pens in the Cleanpen holder, but did not include the sponge with the active ingredient. After a period of heavy use, we looked at the bacterial load on the student pens.
For the next phase, we loaded the Cleanpen with the cleaning sponge and refilled it as needed. We measured the difference and afterwards, took a look at the sick days and attendance rates after we introduced Cleanpen.
Success by the numbers
We ended up with very positive results. Attendance rates rose to 96.5 percent in the first semester and even higher, 97.2 percent, in the next. In terms of hard numbers, this means that student attendance increased during the worst flu season of the past 10 years, resulting in $26,000 in savings during the short period of the trial. Return on investment was 18 times the cost of investment in the Cleanint program.
Compared to other schools in the district, our school (using the Cleanint product) was the only school that has PK, K through 5th grade with a 97.2 percent attendance rate. All of the other schools with the same grades scored an average of 93 percent (based on raw ADA data). That is a difference of more than four percent. Considering what the long term savings for the school district could be:
- Funding Per Child per day = $35
- Number of school days = 180
- Our school, one percentage point in attendance increase means 6 more healthy kids.
Over a school year, the savings using Cleanpen for each one percent of sustained higher attendance works out to: 6 * $35 * 180 = $37,800
That’s just for one percentage point and our school demonstrated over a four percent gain.
Healthy is the popular choice
It was a win for the school district in terms of popularity also. The positive reception from the students was a big part of the program’s success. Students absolutely loved the Cleanpen and they couldn’t wait to use it. In addition, once they understood how the Cleanpen works, parents of the students reported that they felt their kids were safer from infection. Parents reported greater satisfaction from not having to miss work in order to take their kids to the doctor. They also appreciated the protection for themselves when they had to sign-in or out during visits to the school.
Another critical stakeholder in education benefited from a more hygienic environment in school as well. The principal reported that teacher sick days dropped by 20 percent from the previous year. One side benefit of this was that students were able to maintain a stable learning environment due to fewer substitutes. In the end, the longest lasting result was a significant change in attitudes that both teachers and students displayed about cleanliness and health in school.
Cleanpen® & Cleanstylus® for business
Cleanpen is the most efficient way to safeguard your customers and employees against the spread of harmful germs from pens. Cleanpen can be anywhere signatures are required. Cleanpen is a convenient pen holder in between use. Everyone feels safer when they know that the pen they are sharing will be clean and free of bacteria.
A Cleanpen unit contains a specially-formulated sponge refill designed to dispense our unique cleaning solution to a pen’s surface, thereby eliminating germs on contact. Cleanint has created a proprietary cleaning solution that is completely alcohol-free and safe for families, even kids and women who are pregnant.
Cleanpen is a cost-savings mechanism and productivity enhancer for businesses as well. On average, each sick employee costs a corporation $1,100 in compensation, medical costs and lost productivity for each illness. Cleanpen represents a remarkably simple yet effective solution to the problem of transmitting disease-causing viruses and bacteria through shared pens in any office.
For the millions of businesses that use process point of sale transactions at electronic card readers, Cleanint has created the Cleanstylus, a version of the Cleanpen system that allows customers to sign for their purchases and input numbers without risking infection.
Colds and flu at the doctor’s office and beyond
Cleanstethoscope performs the same function for health professionals, cleaning their stethoscopes between patients while carefully maintaining the devices sensitive audio functions. According to recent studies, each year Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) lead to millions in additional healthcare costs and health impacts for thousands of patients. Cleanstethoscope protects the stethoscope while cleaning the diaphragm cradled in the holder. The Cleanstethoscope can be attached to a lab-coat, scrubs, using the included magnet or it can be placed in the pocket. Cleanstethoscope reduces the chances of spreading infections among patients and health care professionals.
Contact Cleanint for more detailed studies and information on how Cleanpen, Cleanstylus, Cleanstethoscope®, and other products such as the CleanremoteUV, are changing the ways the world prevents infectious diseases and stays healthy.
Determination of the Antimicrobial Efficacy of the Cleanpen (CP) Appliance, Antimicrobial Test Laboratories, Feb 2013
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov
United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, www.osha.gov
2002 study by University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles P. Gerba