Manual cleaning and disinfection are critical steps to limiting the spread of pathogens in hospitals and other care facilities. Due to human error, areas of the health care environment may be missed or insufficiently cleaned, exposing patients to infection.
Automated systems that use UV-C, the highest-energy form of ultraviolet light, are showing promise. This wavelength of light kills persistent pathogens such as the dreaded C. difficile by inactivating their DNA. This light protocol can reach areas of the health care environment that otherwise may be missed.
In a recent study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, researchers at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania found a protocol that included deploying a UV-C disinfection system in hematology and oncology units helped reduce C. difficile infection rates among cancer patients by 25 percent. The results showed that improving environmental hygiene by implementing UV-C following routine cleaning made a big difference – decreasing infection rates and associated costs.
With UV-C technology, hospitals and care facilities can provide an extra layer of protection and help reduce the risk of infections among vulnerable patient populations.