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August 15, 2013
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

UV light cleaning technology enhances patient safety

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— Upstate University Hospital has acquired a new tool that is helping provide a cleaner, safer environment for its patients. The use of a specialized ultraviolet (UV) light device has been added to the already thorough cleaning process for patient rooms and public restrooms. This added technology improves patient safety and reduces disease transmission.

“We had an effective process established, and now adding the UV light to the tool box helps wipe out fomite transmission of contagious disease,”

explained Paul Seale, chief operating officer of Upstate University Hospital. “Now, we clean, disinfect and apply the UV light to help eradicate hard to kill bacteria like C. difficile.”

Three UV light units are placed in the patient room after the traditional cleaning process is completed. This allows the light to hit all surfaces by eliminating shadowed areas and placing a dedicated unit in the rest room. The units are activated by remote control for safety purposes. The use of the UV light units takes approximately 30 minutes.

“This has been a real team effort with a goal of improving patient safety,” said Sue Campanaro-Murphy, C.H.E.S.P., director of Environmental Services for Upstate University Hospital. “We evaluated our existing cleaning process, added the UV light and developed an implementation plan that has let us get into the areas with the most vulnerable patient populations first. We already use UV technology in the air handling system and operating rooms, so we are skilled at using it and know that it is effective.”

Use of the UV light unit began in late June, starting with areas for patients that are most vulnerable to infections. Since the end of June, more than 220 rooms located on all inpatient floors, including public restrooms, have been treated with the UV light.

Caption: The use of a specialized ultraviolet (UV) light device, as shown in this illustration, has been added to the cleaning process for patient rooms and public restrooms.

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