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Robotics Research
Posted on April 27, 2018

Germ-zapping robots destroy germs and bacteria

United Hospital Center (UHC) announced that with the addition of two more Xenex LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™, exclusively for the operating rooms (OR), that it is the first hospital within five bordering states to use a two-minute protocol for between OR case disinfection. Last year UHC purchased three robots, the most in the state, for the purpose of enhancing environmental cleanliness by disinfecting and destroying hard-to-kill germs, bacteria, and superbugs in hard to clean places. For more information see the IDTechEx report on new robotics and drones.
The new Germ-Zapping Robots will be used exclusively for cleaning surgical suites. "Operating rooms are supposed to be sterile environments, but studies show these rooms remain contaminated with microscopic pathogens that can cause Surgical Site Infections even after these suites have been cleaned using traditional methods," said Dr. Mark Povroznik, vice president of Quality and Chief Quality Officer at UHC. "Surgical Site Infections, which are some of the most commonly occurring infections, can be devastating to patients and cost the hospital tens of thousands of dollars in additional patient care. At UHC getting a potential infection is one less thing that patients have to worry about during surgery." UHC is ranked number one in the state for the fewest complications as of the December 2017 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare results for Complications and Patient Safety.
Xenex's LightStrike pulsed xenon Full Spectrum™ ultraviolet disinfection technology has been proven to quickly destroy the germs and bacteria in Operating Rooms that cause Surgical Site Infections. Hundreds of hospitals use LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots during the terminal cleaning process in the OR after the day's procedures are complete. Xenex recommends running the robot during the terminal clean. Multiple positions greatly reduce the impact of shadows on UV disinfection efficacy. Studies show, however, that bioburden increases in the OR during the day. A leading U.S. medical institution recently studied the effectiveness of the Xenex LightStrike robot in its ORs and found that the LightStrike robot can effectively disinfect high touch surfaces in an OR in two minutes.
"Running a quick cycle between-cases can be very effective at bringing down the vegetative bacteria bioburden in the OR," said Chris Courtney, DO, adult reconstructive joint specialist at UHC Orthopaedics. "The LightStrike robot turns on instantly with no warm-up or cool down time, so it can be brought into the OR to quickly disinfect the area around the surgical table and in between procedures." Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots have been credited for helping healthcare facilities in the U.S. decrease their Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), C.diff, and Surgical Site infection rates by more than 50, 70, and 100 percent respectively.
Uniquely designed for ease of use and portability, a hospital's environmental services staff can operate the Xenex robot without disrupting hospital operations and damaging materials or equipment in the OR. With a four- or five-minute disinfection cycle, the robot can disinfect 30-62 hospital rooms per day (according to Xenex customer reports), including patient rooms, ORs, equipment rooms, emergency rooms, intensive care units and public areas. More than 400 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities in the U.S. are using Xenex robots, which are also in use in skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and long term acute care facilities.
"UHC has long been recognized as a leader in medical technology and highly specialized care," Dr. Povroznik said. "The investment of the additional robots is important and underscores UHC's commitment to patient care and the communities we serve in North Central West Virginia."
Source and top image: United Hospital Center
Top image: Xenex
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Sensors Europe 2019 External Link on 10 - 11 Apr 2019 at Estrel Convention Center, Berlin, Germany hosted by IDTechEx.