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Milford Regional Uses Robots to Fight Deadly Germs

Sep 11, 2014 08:34AM ● By Pamela Johnson
Milford Regional Medical Center has introduced the latest innovation in the battle to eliminate super germs in patient rooms. Say hello to WALL-E and Rosie, the newest members of environmental services at Milford Regional. These germ-fighting robots have taken Milford Regional to a whole new dimension in combating deadly pathogens and multi-drug resistant organisms through the transmission of ultraviolet light.
    Resembling R2D2 from Star Wars, the Xenex disinfection device uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV-C) light that is 25,000 times more powerful than sunlight to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and even bacterial spores. Studies show that the Xenex system is consistently 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning practices and effective against a variety of the most dangerous superbugs, including Clostridium difficile endospores (C.diff), norovirus, influenza and staph bacteria like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA. It has been credited for helping healthcare facilities in the U.S. decrease their MRSA and C.diff infection rates by more than 50 percent.
    The environmental services staff couldn't be happier making WALL E and Rosie an important part of their daily cleaning regime. “Our team members are very excited to be using this kind of advanced technology in their daily work,” says Angel Ruiz, Milford Regional director of environmental services. “They feel very empowered because they can clearly see that they’re saving lives by preventing infections.”
    In just five to 10 minutes, the device can disinfect a patient room, patient bathroom or operating room (OR) by washing over the surfaces with UV-C light where germs reside without leaving a chemical residue. To disinfect a room after standard cleaning procedures are complete, hospital team members wheel the Xenex robot into the room, begin the automated sequence, and then leave the room. For enhanced safety, a sign placed outside the door warns people not to enter, and a motion sensor automatically shuts off the machine if someone should enter.
    A huge advocate for the purchase of the Xenex system, Dr. Michael Newstein, Milford Regional's infectious diseases physician, recognizes the importance of adding this advanced technology to the Medical Center's arsenal of infection control products and procedures. “We already have a strong infection prevention program," he points out. "The Xenex technology allows us to be even more proactive in protecting the health of our patients and staff.”
    Milford Regional has been recognized for patient safety measures in the past, so it makes sense that the Medical Center is incorporating this very latest innovation in disinfecting technology to provide the best defense against acquired infections. "Patient safety is always our top priority," says Ed Kelly, Milford Regional president. "We are very excited to begin using the Xenex system to help bring us one step closer to eliminating hospital-acquired infections."

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