The minute a sick patient walks into a healthcare facility, the risk of nosocomial transmission, or Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI), increases to everyone around them. Healthcare workers must have a solid understanding the epidemiology of the most common infections, such as Covid-19, Influenza, TB, to determine the unique isolation needs for each patient. Different types of infectious disease risks require different safety precautions.
In general, up to 7% of patients, or 10% in developing countries, may contract a healthcare associated infection, including infections that would have been prevented through the use of appropriate transmission-based precautions, reports the World Health Organization (WHO). 
There are 3 common types of transmission-based precautions that build on each other:
- Contact Precautions: Focuses on direct or indirect contact with the patient. Gloves, gown required for HCWs. Cleaning protocols for surfaces and equipment.
- Droplet Precautions: Limits disease spread by large respiratory droplets through coughing, sneezing, or talking. Contact precautions + add face mask for HCW.
- Airborne Precautions: Prevents transmission of infectious aerosols that are very small and remain viable and suspended in the air over long distances. Droplet precautions + change out regular face mask for a particulate respirator (e.g. N95) or powered air purifying respirator (PAPR). Place patient in Negative Pressure Isolation Room.
The goal of both airborne and droplet precautions is to introduce barriers in order to eliminate potential transmission risk to healthcare workers and other patients in the facility.
Sounds like a great plan, right? Well it would be, as long as all the Isolation Rooms aren't already taken or being turned over (or the hospital even has them for that matter) and every healthcare worker has access to their required levels of PPE...oh, and they can change all their PPE after every entry/exit into a patient's room. And then the patient never leaves the isolation room for any reason. Ya, then it's a super great plan.
Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned and gaps in the system introduce unnecessary risk.
So, how can we bridge the gap?
The SCONE is designed to "bridge the gap" when Droplet and Airborne Precautions cannot be properly maintained. The SCONE keeps the air safe by creating an active barrier that eliminates infectious droplets and aerosols when isolation rooms are limited, during AGPs and patient transport in the facility, when PPE is in short supply, etc.
Healthcare workers are still required to wear appropriate PPE but may not need to change it as often because the SCONE reduces the risk of airborne transmission by 99.9% when in use. Hospitals can prioritize isolation rooms for patients as needed, while still conducting AGPs safely using a SCONE instead. The SCONE also provides the added benefit of barrier protection for larger droplet transmission during AGPs which isolation rooms cannot protect against.
SCONE keeps the air safe and free of airborne pathogens in order to protect healthcare workers and everyone else in the hospital. SCONE also gives hospitals a way to open their doors to family visitors safely, keeping families connected, prioritizing both safety and the emotional well-being of patients for long-term successful outcomes.