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LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots Help Skilled Nursing Facility Dramatically Reduce Infection Rates

May 19, 2017

Infection rates at nursing homes nationwide are on the rise. The Jewish Home and Care Center (Jewish Home) set out to enhance the safety of its residents and employees by deploying a LightStrike™ pulsed xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) light robot to combat dangerous microorganisms and reduce the risk of Clostridium difficile (C.diff) infections, as well as many other health risks such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and pneumonia that are common in healthcare environments.

After carefully evaluating data following the first year of use, the Jewish Home infection prevention team determined that adding the pulsed xenon UV LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot™ was superior to manual cleaning alone for decreasing microbes on environmental surfaces. Research also determined that the robot was responsible for a decrease in infection rates and the rates of hospitalization for infection. The new peer-reviewed clinical outcome study “Evaluation of an ultraviolet room disinfection protocol to decrease nursing home microbial burden, infection and hospitalization rates” recently published in BMC Infectious Diseases, demonstrates how infection rates plunged at the Jewish Home after it began using pulsed xenon UV robotic disinfection technology in resident rooms and shared living spaces. 

“When we invested in pulsed xenon UV disinfection technology, we wanted to determine if PX-UV disinfection could have a positive impact on our facility-wide infection rates as well as infection-related hospitalizations,” said Christine Kovach, Director of Research at Jewish Home and the lead author on the study. “We were extremely pleased to see how our infection rates went down after we began using Nikki, our pulsed xenon UV robot for room disinfection, especially when hospital acquired infections were on the rise – meaning that the influx of pathogens from the hospital sources didn’t adversely affect our patients.”

Study highlights include:

  • ·         87.8% decrease in contamination on high touch surfaces from pre-cleaning to post LightStrike disinfection
  • Infection rate reductions: 32% decrease in Urinary Tract Infection rates, 20% reduction in respiratory infection rates, 10% decrease in skin infection rates, and 100% reduction in enteric infection rates
  • Hospitalizations (readmissions to the hospital) decreased by 54% overall

No changes in chemical disinfectants or cleaning methods were made from the pre to the post study periods. All discharged patient rooms received the pulsed xenon ultraviolet disinfection protocol. In addition, shared rooms such as the dining rooms and activity rooms received daily cleaning and ultraviolet disinfection weekly.

“This is an exciting day for Xenex and the hospitals we serve because it marks our 24th peer-reviewed, published study and the 9th healthcare facility to publish an infection rate reduction study. It’s also the first peer-reviewed study that observes an impact of pulsed xenon UV on device-related infections like UTIs,” said Dr. Mark Stibich, Xenex co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer. “The evidence continues to mount that pulsed xenon UV can help healthcare facilities lower their infection rates by destroying the pathogens that cause infections. Pulsed xenon UV disinfection is fast and effective, which are some of the reasons that facilities like the Jewish Home are seeing these significant infection rate reductions.”

More than 400 healthcare facilities are now using LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots, but Jewish Home was the first Skilled Nursing Facility to use it on its continuum of care campus. Elaine Dyer, RN, BSN, NHA, MS, Administrator of the Jewish Home says, “We have the same residents as those in acute-care settings. Our goal is provide the best environment and clinical outcome possible, and the robot has proven its worth in helping us avoid infections. Based on what we have experienced, the robot has performed its job extremely well and we strongly encourage other facilities to invest in pulsed xenon UV technology so that they can experience similar infection reduction results.”

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