(ECL) Ecolab and Proventix Join Forces

Leading cleaning and sanitation products maker Ecolab Inc (ECL) is collaborating with Birmingham, Alabama-based technology company Proventix Systems Inc in a quest to fight the spread of healthcare acquired infections (“HAIs”).

Under the deal, the Minnesota-based company will use Proventix’s nGage radio frequency identification (“RFID”) system to automate hand hygiene compliance monitoring for its healthcare customers.

HAIs, infections that patients acquire during their hospitalization, affect 1.7 million people annually in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”). It is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S with more than 99,000 Americans succumbing annually. HAIs account for roughly $40 billion in additional healthcare costs each year in the U.S.

Hand hygiene is regarded as one of the best options to reduce the spread of HAIs. The nGage system, when combined with Ecolab’s products and dispensers, will address a number of obstacles in improving hand hygiene compliance. The nGage system monitors hand hygiene compliance without any workflow disruption.

The integrated hygiene compliance monitoring program will provide prevention experts detailed, reliable, real-time reports about hand hygiene compliance, helping them design training and awareness programs and identifying the areas requiring specific intervention to drive improvement.

Ecolab leads in cleaning, sanitizing, pest elimination and food safety solutions with annual sales of roughly $6 billion. To boost growth, it continues to invest in strategic areas such as, product innovation, healthcare, water and energy and global pest elimination.

We are encouraged by Ecolab’s strong international exposure and recovery across its end-markets. However, the company faces stiff competition from Clorox (CLX) and Church & Dwight (CHD). Moreover, raw material price fluctuations represent a headwind for Ecolab. Currently, we have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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