CASE STUDY: UV Machine Helps Hunterdon Medical Center Reduce Superbug Infections
Contributed by Xenex.
As germs and bacteria become increasingly resistant to cleaning chemicals and antibiotics, Hunterdon Medical Center recently deployed Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots that use pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to enhance traditional room cleaning procedures as a key part of the hospital’s infection prevention program. The hospital has seen a 76 percent reduction in Clostridium difficile (C.diff) infection rates since it began using the robots to disinfect rooms.
Hunterdon Medical Center implemented two Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots as part of its ongoing efforts to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) – infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment in a hospital. The infections are caused by microorganisms such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and C. diff. Invisible to the naked eye, some microorganisms can live on hospital bedrails, tray tables, wheel chairs and doorknobs for up to 5 months — posing a risk to patients and hospital employees. Now, when Hunterdon’s Environmental Services team member has finished cleaning a room, they bring in a LightStrike robot to quickly zap away pathogens that may have been left behind.
Hunterdon was already following infection prevention best practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), but decided to invest in the Xenex robots after evaluating peer-reviewed studies that showed significant infection rate reduction results from other facilities using LightStrike robots for room disinfection. The hospital recently attained Magnet recognition for the third time, a testament to its continued dedication to high-quality practices.
Compared with the first half of 2017, Hunterdon Medical Center saw a 76 percent decrease in C. diff infections after implementing the Germ-Zapping Robots in the second half of 2017.
“It was a huge percent decrease in our number of cases,” said Lisa Rasimowicz, MSN, RN, CIC, director of infection prevention at Hunterdon. “The war against germs is getting tougher as they become resistant to cleaning chemicals. We want to utilize every weapon possible in our battle against infectious diseases to keep our patients and employees safe. I’m very pleased to report that the robots, in partnership with our EVS team, are doing an excellent job.”
As the world runs out of new antibiotics, the CDC has urged healthcare providers to intensify their efforts in the fight against multi-drug resistant organisms and antibiotic resistance.
“We are honored that Hunterdon Medical Center is willing to share the success of its infection prevention campaign in hopes of educating other hospitals about what can be done to enhance patient safety and we are proud to recognize them as a Visionary Hospital. We’ve proven repeatedly that our LightStrike robots are very effective, and we are confident that as hospitals continue to report infection reductions that Xenex pulsed xenon UV disinfection will become standard of care everywhere – just as it already is in hundreds of hospitals,” said Irene Hahn, vice president of sales and account management for Xenex.
According to Xenex, Visionary Hospitals are defined as hospitals that 1. Make patient safety a top priority; 2. Seek out and implement technologies with multiple proven outcomes published in peer reviewed publications; 3. Follow manufacturer recommended best practices; 4. Publicize and share results to improve best practices for all hospitals; 5. Openly share their data for their benefit and the benefit of all mankind.