Rush Foundation Hospital Reports Fewer Infections After Adding LightStrike Pulsed Xenon UV Disinfection as Environmental Standard of Care

September 13, 2018

Patient safety is a top priority at Rush Foundation Hospital, which was the first hospital in East Mississippi and West Alabama to deploy Xenex LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™ to enhance environmental cleanliness by disinfecting and destroying hard-to-kill germs, bacteria and superbugs in hard-to-clean places. The hospital announced today that it has seen a 59% reduction in Clostridium difficile (C.diff) infection rates and a 100% reduction in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection rates since acquiring two LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots one year ago. 

As germs and bacteria become increasingly resistant to cleaning chemicals, antibiotics and even some hand sanitizers, the hospital is continually on the lookout for new technologies to aid in its infection prevention efforts. With the rise of superbugs such as C.diff, MRSA and Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), healthcare facilities like Rush Foundation Hospital are turning to LightStrike robots to destroy dangerous pathogens before they can pose a risk to patients and hospital employees. Rush’s two robots, Rossie and Zach, are utilized by the hospital’s Environmental Services team to disinfect rooms after a patient is discharged. Using high intensity pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light, the robots quickly destroy microscopic pathogens that can cause infections. 

“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 took to enhance patient safety and we are very excited about the success we’ve achieved. Our Environmental Services and Infection Prevention teams worked closely with Xenex to develop a plan to best utilize our robots and it’s very clearly working,” said Jason Payne, Administrator of Rush Foundation Hospital. “We made this investment as a commitment to the wonderful community we serve, and we are extremely pleased with the results we have achieved.”

The LightStrike robots have been credited in numerous peer-reviewed, published studies with helping hospitals decrease their C.diff, MRSA and Surgical Site Infection (SSI) rates from 46% -- 100%, which is consistent with the results Rush Foundation Hospital is reporting. LightStrike robots are a new technology that utilize pulsed xenon to create intense flashes of germicidal ultraviolet (UV) light. The UV light penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. Their DNA is fused, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces. The portable and powerful LightStrike robot disinfects rooms in four or five-minute cycles (depending on the robot model) without warm-up or cool-down times.

In recognition of the hospital’s commitment to patient safety, Xenex has designated Rush Foundation Hospital as a Visionary Hospital.  According to Xenex, Visionary Hospitals are defined as hospitals that 1. Make patient safety a top priority; 2. Seek out and implement technologies with multiple proven outcomes published in peer reviewed publications; 3. Follow manufacturer recommended best practices; 4. Publicize and share results to improve best practices for all hospitals; 5. Openly share their data for their benefit and the benefit of all mankind.

Rush Health Systems is the largest, most diverse medical system in East Mississippi and West Alabama. With a 103-year legacy of medical innovation, quality care and service to others, Rush Health Systems is comprised of 7 hospitals and more than 30 clinics, with 250 staff and contracted physicians and 95 advanced-practice providers. Rush is the largest non-governmental employer in the region.  For more information, please visit rushhealthsystems.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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