Ochsner deploys robots to zap germs in fight against deadly hospital-acquired infections

Oschner Medical Center says use of Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots will improve patient safety since they destroy deadly pathogens and drug-resistant organisms.
By Bernie Monegain
09:33 AM
robots fight germs

New Orleans-based Ochsner Medical Center is deploying robots to zap germs in its quest to prevent deadly hospital-acquired infections.

The medical center, which is part of the 29-hospital Oschner Health System, is deploying Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots to improve patient safety and reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections, or HAIs.

Xenex’s LightStrike Robots can destroy deadly pathogens and drug-resistant organisms that can cause HAIs.

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The robots help hospitals reduce infection rates by killing microscopic germs and superbugs by using pulsed xenon – an environmentally-friendly noble gas, to create Full Spectrum, high-intensity ultraviolet light. In less than five minutes, the UV light can quickly destroy infectious germs – including C.diff., CRE, MRSA, influenza and the Ebola virus. The devices are used in addition to the routine cleaning procedures as an extra level of protection against infection.

“Using LightStrike Robots, in addition to our existing room disinfection process, improves our ability to destroy dangerous pathogens and reduce the risk of infections to create a safer environment for our patients, employees and the communities we serve,” said Sandy Kemmerly, MD, system medical director for hospital quality at Ochsner Health System, and infectious disease specialist at Ochsner Medical Center.

Hospitals using Xenex devices have published outcome studies in peer-reviewed journals showing 50 to 100 percent decreases in C.diff, MRSA and surgical site infection rates after the robots were used to disinfect hospital rooms.

Ochsner has deployed 10 robots at its Jefferson Highway campus. They are being used to enhance the room disinfection process in six high-acuity units of the hospital, with plans to add up to 10 more robots and expand to other units during Phase 2 of the program, which is expected to begin later this year.

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Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com