C. diff infection rates decrease after germ-fighting robots deployed to disinfect rooms

Sept. 26, 2019

Patient safety is a top priority at Adventist Health White Memorial, the region’s leading faith-based, nonprofit teaching hospital. In 2015, recognizing that some viruses and bacteria are becoming resistant to cleaning chemicals, antibiotics and even hand sanitizer, Adventist Health White Memorial became one of the first hospitals in the western U.S. to deploy a new germ-fighting technology, LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots, as part of its environmental standard of care to disinfect patient rooms and operating rooms.

The LightStrike Robots use intense pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light to quickly and effectively disinfect patient rooms of hard to kill pathogens such as Clostridioides difficile (C.diff), Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) that can cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). If these microscopic pathogens are missed during the manual cleaning process, they can linger on surfaces in the patient environment for up to six months and pose a risk to patients and hospital employees.

Adventist Health White Memorial worked closely with Xenex, a world provider in infection prevention programs and room disinfection technology, to assess where the LightStrike Robots should be utilized within the hospital and how often. After seeing a 45 percent reduction in C.diff infection rates with three LightStrike Robots, the hospital invested in four more robots and a LightStrike Disinfection Pod to further bolster its infection control program.

Operated by the hospital’s Environmental Services team, the LightStrike Robots are brought into rooms to disinfect high-touch surfaces like bedrails, tray tables and doorknobs after the room has been cleaned via traditional methods. The hospital keeps a robot on every floor to disinfect rooms after a patient is discharged, and then uses the robots to disinfect Operating Rooms (OR) when the day’s procedures are complete. The LightStrike Disinfection Pod is used to disinfect mobile, reusable equipment such as isolettes, ventilators, wheelchairs, and mobile work stations. With seven LightStrike Robots and a LightStrike Pod, Adventist Health White Memorial boasts one of the largest fleets of LightStrike Robots in the western U.S.

With the rise of superbugs that are increasingly hard to kill, hospitals like Adventist Health White Memorial are turning to LightStrike Robots to help rid their facilities of dangerous pathogens. LightStrike Robots have been credited in peer-reviewed, published studies by numerous healthcare facilities for helping them reduce their C.diff, MRSA and Surgical Site Infection rates 46 percent to 100 percent. Requiring no warm-up or cool-down time, the robots work quickly and add only 10-15 minutes to room turnover time.

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