PINEHURST – FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital is the first hospital in the Sandhills region to offer the most advanced technology to clean hospital rooms and better protect patients against potentially deadly infections.
Moore Regional recently began using the Helios® ultraviolet disinfection system from Surfacide, LLC. The system uses three portable towers to emit powerful yet safe UV-C energy that is effective against bacteria, spores and viruses – including “superbugs.”
UV-C energy is the peak germ-killing part of the ultraviolet spectrum. Superbugs are bacteria that are resistant to two or more antibiotics and can cause life-threatening infections.
"Protecting patients against infection has always been a high priority for FirstHealth," says Patrick Lynn, director of environmental services at FirstHealth Moore Regional. "We chose the Surfacide system because it is the best and most cost-effective technology available. It provides an extra layer of protection for both the patients and staff. That’s especially important because hospitals today need to take every available step to guard against infection from antibiotic-resistant organisms and other infectious agents.”
The automated Surfacide system is faster and delivers more disinfecting energy than other systems. Rather than have just one emitter, it uses three towers to more thoroughly disinfect patient areas.
The system has been shown in independent studies to reduce hospital-acquired infections and significantly lower infection rates.
In addition to using traditional cleaning methods, health care providers are turning to Surfacide UV-C technology to combat health care-associated infections. UV-C energy has been used for decades to kill organisms in water supplies and other applications where bacteria are present. Now it is being used to kill organisms on hard surfaces found in hospitals including bed rails, TV remotes, patient tray tables, guest chairs, countertops and bathrooms.
The 10-to-30 minute process is performed by the Surfacide system in a closed room after an environmental services cleaning professional has manually cleaned the area and wiped down surfaces. Treating the room with UV-C energy helps disinfect areas that may not be completely cleaned manually.
The laser mapping capability of the system “sees” every exposed surface and confirms that the room is completely covered during each disinfection cycle. A wireless user interface tracks and records data, allowing the infection prevention team to ensure optimal use of the technology.
“FirstHealth started using UVC technology in 2013 with a one emitter unit,” says Jayne Lee, R.N, director of Infection Control and Patient Safety for FirstHealth of the Carolinas. “With this new technology we will be able to disinfect more rooms in a faster time period. Our goal is to provide care in the cleanest environment possible and reduce the risk of acquiring an infection.”
Hospital-acquired infections are a substantial issue in American health care. There are an estimated 722,000 such infections just in acute-care U.S. hospitals each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The annual cost to treat these infections is estimated at nearly $10 billion a year. Patients who acquire an infection in a hospital also must remain in the facility for an average of 17 more days, further increasing health care costs.
"Thanks to this industry-leading technology, we can truly say we are going the extra mile to protect both our patients and staff," says Lynn.
For information on FirstHealth, visit www.firsthealth.org.