MCH Implements UV Technology in the Fight Against Infection-Causing Pathogens

MCH is excited to announce that it has just purchased a Clorox Healthcare™ Optimum-UV Enlight™ System which uses UV light to kill microorganisms by inactivating their DNA, rendering them harmless and unable to replicate. This purchase was made possible by several large gifts from the Ted Roy Charity Foundation, Stater Bros., and part-time resident Lori Everson, as well as additional donations from many community members. The total cost of the machine was $53,000. Our Environmental Services team has been trained and the machine is now being used to treat patient rooms and other key areas in the hospital.

Multi-drug resistant organisms that can cause healthcare-associated infections such as CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) continue to be a problem among the nation’s healthcare facilities. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that hospital acquired infections account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year. As these infections continue to threaten patient populations, Mountains Community Hospital is adding an extra innovative precaution to existing infection control protocols: the addition of ultraviolet (UV) technology to treat patient rooms and other key areas in the facility. The UV machine looks like a lightsaber on wheels and when it is turned on, it uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria in a room in about 15 minutes.

“Patient safety is a top priority at MCH,” said Danny Pensabene, Director of Environmental Services. “We chose to purchase a UV device as an added measure to help us prevent hospital acquired infections and ensure the safest possible environment of care for our patients, staff and visitors. The device is able to treat areas that are difficult to clean manually, so it helps ensure that we leave no crevice unturned and allows us to track which rooms have been treated for more accurate reporting.”

MCH uses the system to clean all operating rooms and patient isolation rooms between patients and other patient rooms and public areas are treated on a rotating basis. The device is run after the environmental services team thoroughly cleans and disinfects each room with a chemical surface disinfectant product and the UV device is then used to supplement these efforts. In a typical patient room, the device is placed on both sides of the patient bed and turned on for five minutes in each position. It’s also placed in the patient bathroom for another five minute cycle. A similar process is followed for the ICU.

“With pathogens such as C. difficile able to survive on surfaces for months at a time, we felt it was important to adopt a comprehensive approach – combining manual surface disinfection with UV technology. Implementing new technology isn’t always easy and data collection and reporting can be time-consuming. We wanted to make sure that complying with external reporting requirements and internal tracking procedures wouldn’t take time away from infection prevention activities that protect patients at the bedside,” said Danny. “We’ve found that the Optimum-UV Enlight™ System’s smart data capabilities help do the heavy lifting and minimize workflow challenges so that UV can be seamlessly integrated and properly managed and tracked.”

If you see a blue glow emanating from one of our patient rooms, don’t worry, it’s not an alien abduction. It is just the UV machine, doing its thing to make our hospital a safer place for everyone.