Shared Risk Program Results In Lower Infection Rates

Contributed by Xenex Disinfection Services.

Patient safety is a top priority at Norman Regional Health System. As germs and bacteria become increasingly resistant to cleaning chemicals and antibiotics, the hospital is continually on the lookout for new technologies to aid in its infection prevention efforts. In 2016, the system invested in four LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots which quickly destroy the microorganisms that can cause healthcare associated infections (HAIs). The hospital partnered with Xenex Disinfection Services to deploy and then carefully measure the effectiveness of the disinfection robots on the hospital’s Clostridium difficile (C.diff), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) infection rates.

In an innovative shared risk agreement, Xenex guaranteed Norman Regional leadership that patient infection rates on the evaluation units would decrease or they would refund the money the system invested in the robots. At the end of the measurement period, infection rates in the evaluation units dropped by statistically significant levels which resulted in a $250,000 savings for the hospital (including the cost of the robots and the labor to operate them).  Because the health system has experienced such positive outcomes, it is considering expanding the program with additional robots.

“Norman Regional has even lower infection rates as a result of our robust infection prevention program, but we believe that one infection is too many. Every time someone comes in to this facility they are bringing in contamination from the outside. Adding the LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to our thorough cleaning protocol is an additional measure we have embraced to enhance safety by destroying the microscopic germs and bacteria,” said Richie Splitt, president and CEO of Norman Regional Health System. “Our Environmental Services and Infection Prevention teams worked closely together with Xenex to ensure that we were following the plan and it’s clearly working.”

Norman Regional was the first health system in the Oklahoma City metro area to utilize Xenex robots, which have been credited in peer-reviewed studies by numerous healthcare facilities for helping them reduce their infection rates. The LightStrike robots leverage pulsed xenon technology to emit a blast of intense ultraviolet (UV) light that kills bacteria and viruses in just minutes. The germicidal UV light quickly disinfects a variety of high-touch areas and surfaces including bedrails, tray tables, machines, monitors, keyboards and computers and can be used in any department and in any unit within a healthcare facility, including isolation rooms, operating rooms, general patient care rooms, contact precaution areas, emergency rooms, bathrooms and public spaces.

The Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot is a new technology that utilizes pulsed xenon (not mercury bulbs) to create germicidal UV light. The portable disinfection system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including C. diff, norovirus, influenza, Ebola and MRSA.

“Seeing the infection rate reduction results achieved by Norman Regional is incredibly rewarding for us because it’s an example of two companies successfully working together towards a common goal. They are willing to evaluate new technologies to improve patient outcomes and we were willing to share the risk of their investment because we believe in our technology,” said Joseph Authement, senior vice president of global sales at Xenex. “Xenex is continually evaluating ways to accomplish our mission, which is to stop the pain and suffering caused by Hospital Acquired Infections, and we are incredibly proud of how well the Norman Regional team has enhanced their infection prevention program with the LightStrike robots and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars at the same time.”