A Big K.O. to Germs: Robot Enhances Hospital Safety by Killing Infection-Causing Microbes

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hospitals around the world are looking for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multidrug resistant organisms that can cause hospital-acquired infections, or HAI. Saint Peter’s University Hospital has taken a leap into the future with the implementation of a LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robot™ that emits waves of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy hard-to-kill bugs in hard-to-clean places.

“In infection prevention, our goal is to provide a clean, safe environment for our patients, their families and our employees. This latest technology provides an added level of protection in combating HAIs caused by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus,” said Amy R. Gram, director of Infection Prevention at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. “By improving our disinfection practices with the implementation of the Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot, we have added another strategy to further reduce our infection rates.”

UV has been used for disinfection for decades. The Xenex robot is a new technology that uses pulsed xenon, a high-intensity UV light that 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 without contact.

“This is a revolutionary system that provides a second layer of protection after a room is cleaned and sanitized,” said Perry Zycband, manager of environmental services for Saint Peter’s University Hospital. After the environmental services staff cleans a room, a portable robot is wheeled in. “It’s a cool device—it looks like R2-D2 from Star Wars or the robot from Lost in Space,” Zycband said. The staff must leave the space and let the machine run for 10 minutes in the room and 5 minutes in the bathroom.

The system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C.diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA. “Studies have proved it is very effective,” Zycband says. Indeed, other hospitals have published their C.diff, MRSA and surgical site infection rate reduction studies in peer-reviewed journals, showing infection rate reductions in excess of 70 percent. More than 400 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities in the United States, Canada, Africa, Japan and Europe are using Xenex robots, which are also in use in skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and long-term acute-care facilities. “Anything that helps clean the room benefits patients,” Zycband says. “They can know the room has this second layer of protection to destroy germs.”

About Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., parent company of the Saint Peter’s healthcare delivery system, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital, and Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corp., which oversees the system’s outpatient facilities. These include the CARES Surgicenter; New Brunswick Cardiac Cath Lab; Community Care Services Inc., and Saint Peter’s Adult Day Center in Monroe. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. For more information about Saint Peter’s Healthcare System visit www.saintpetershcs.com or call 732-745-8600.

Contacts

Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Philip Hartman, 732-339-7002
phartman@saintpetersuh.com

Xenex Disinfection Services
Melinda Hart, 210-240-4669
melinda.hart@xenex.com

About Peter Coffaro 1104 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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