July 2020 Health Matters

The latest news on the heal th and wel lness issues that mat ter most • Jul y 2020 He lthMatters

High-Tech Disinfecting Robots are Working to Make a Safer NCH Hospital Environment

R obotic devices that clean floors and carpets are the norm in many homes. So, it is not that far-fetched that robots are now able to disinfect patient rooms and other hospital areas, with the goal of reducing infection rates and keeping patients safe. Like something out of science fiction, a fleet of ten germ-busting Xenex LightStrike robots, is wiping out bacteria, germs and viruses, including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, with ultraviolet light (UV). On January 27, the robots made their debut as NCH unveiled the latest high-tech solution for decreasing infection rates, unaware of just how important these robots would become during the pandemic. Unlike the mercury bulbs used to make UV light, the Xenex LightStrike robots made by Xenex Disinfection Services, use bursts of pulsed xenon that penetrate the cell walls of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. The intense UV light causes irreparable damage to exposed pathogens, like coronavirus, which effectively kills them, according to Georgine Kruedelbach, NCH Infection Prevention Director. “We still manually clean areas, and now, we use the robot as an extra measure. The room or area is then ready to service the next patient without risk of infection or lingering germs to a degree that ordinary manual cleansing may miss,” she adds. “We have an active antibiotic stewardship program, and the use of the robots is part of a comprehensive program to prevent infections, especially those related to coronavirus and multidrug resistant organisms. We utilize hand hygiene, antibiotic stewardship, education and room cleaning; these robots add another tool to the toolbox.” Initially, NCH environmental staff members trained to use the Xenex robot were using this technology in high-risk areas such as operating

rooms, critical care unit, emergency rooms and patient rooms. As the pandemic intensified, NCH expanded their germ-zapping robot fleet from 3 to 10, made possible by the generosity of several NCH donors (see box below), and are now using the robots in the COVID-19 units, restrooms and other areas of the hospital to eliminate the spread of the coronavirus. Witt Copeland, Regional Director with Xenex explains that for a patient room, three five-minute cycles are used. Since the UV light can only disinfect what it can see, one cycle is used in the bathroom and two in the room. With a five- minute disinfection run, viruses, bacteria

and germ spores can be killed. “We have over 30 published peer reviewed studies and over 10 peer reviewed outcome studies, and we have deployed Xenex robots in over 500 facilities globally,” says Copeland. The latest study conclusively determined that the Xenex robot was effective in killing the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. NCH hospitals and if you are sick, please feel confident you can come to NCH. Don’t wait,” says Paul Hiltz, President and CEO of NCH Healthcare System. “These robots are “The ten robots can be found throughout both adding an extra layer of protection to our already extensive list of protocols to keep our patients safe.”

Xenex LightStrike robot is effective against these known microorganisms (using various timed cycles):

Features of the Xenex LightStrike robot

• Coronavirus • Ebola • Anthrax • Influenza • MRSA virus • Norovirus • C.diff • Candida albicans • Staphylococcus aureus

• Proven effective against the deadliest pathogens including the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. • Uses intense bursts of pulsed xenon UV light. • Kills deadly pathogens that are invisible to the naked eye. • Destroys infection-causing microorganisms, even in shadowed areas, in minutes. • It is portable and works quickly; dozens of rooms can be disinfected per day with a single robot. • Robots can be used in any department or unit. • Robots are used in 400+ hospitals and facilities globally. • Fewer healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are report

• Staphylococcus epidermidis VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci) • CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae)

✶ Bill Allyn, Marc Allyn, the Allyn family, 1 robot named “ Pretty Penny ” ✶ Jay and Patty Baker, 2 robots named “ Kizziebot ” and “ Donnabot ” ✶ Jay and Patty Baker, Scott and Simone Lutgert, 1 robot named “ JayScott ”

NCH is so grateful to

these donors who funded and named 10 Xenex robots.

✶ Julia Van Domelen, 1 robot named “ Good Juju ” ✶ Fritz and Kathy Friday, 1 robot named “ Zachary ”

✶ Mike and Noelle Ilitch, 2 robots named “ Angel 1 ” and “ Angel 2 ” ✶ Mariann and Robert MacDonald, 1 robot named “ Gizmo ” ✶ Bruce and BarbaraWiegand, 1 robot named “ GramPa8 ”

For more information, contact NCH Infectious Diseases department at (239) 624-0800

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter