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Germ-Zapping Robots Enhance Aultman Hospital’s Robust Infection Prevention Program


As hospitals look for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multi-drug resistant organisms that can cause health care-associated infections (HAI), Aultman Hospital has taken a leap into the future with six LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots that destroy hard-to-kill superbugs in hard-to-clean places.

Some microscopic pathogens are become increasingly resistant to cleaning chemicals, antibiotics and even some hand sanitizers, so the hospital is continually on the lookout for new technologies to aid in its infection prevention and decontamination efforts. The six Xenex LightStrike robots use intense pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV) light that quickly destroys bacteria, viruses, fungi and bacterial spores. The flashes of intense UV-C light penetrate the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. Their DNA is fused, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces. The portable disinfection system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Candida Auris (C.auris), Clostridium difficile (C.diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.

“Aultman Hospital is committed to evidence-based care, patient safety and the best possible outcomes for our patients,” said Jo Ann DiPierro, director of environmental services. “When it comes to infection prevention, we have a comprehensive program in place that includes antibiotic stewardship, hand hygiene and education, to name just a few of our best practices. We invested in pulsed xenon UV disinfection technology because we wanted to ensure that we are doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our patients and employees.”

The portable LightStrike robot disinfects a typical patient or procedure room in five-minute cycles without warm-up or cool-down times. Operated by the hospital environmental services team, it can be used in any department and in any unit within a health care facility. Aultman Hospital is using its robots to disinfect rooms where its most vulnerable patients are treated, including the Intensive Care Units (ICU), the Emergency Department (ED), isolation rooms, cath lab, NICU, Operating Rooms (OR), endoscopy unit, and the wound center.

Xenex LightStrike robots have been credited by numerous health care facilities for helping them reduce their infection rates significantly. Several hospitals have published their 46-100 percent C.diff, MRSA and/or surgical site infection rate reduction studies in peer-reviewed journals.

The Xenex robots were purchased by the Women’s Board of Aultman Hospital, which was founded in 1969 to render services to Aultman Hospital in the areas of community relations and fundraising. Since its inception, the Women’s Board has raised more than $25 million to support major projects at Aultman Hospital such as the Emergency/Trauma Center, NICU, Dialysis Center, Cancer Center, Pediatric Services, Aultman College, Compassionate Care Center, The Shoppes at Aultman, the Aultman Cancer Center, the Orthopaedic unit modernization and Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots.

About Aultman

The Aultman Health Foundation is a not-for-profit health care organization serving Stark and surrounding counties. The vertically integrated institution includes Aultman Hospital, Aultman Orrville Hospital, Alliance Community Hospital, the locally managed health insurance provider AultCare, The Aultman Foundation and Aultman College. With 1,032 beds, over 700 active physicians and a team of more than 7,000 employees, Aultman is Stark County's largest provider of health care services. For more information, visit www.aultman.org.

Xenex Disinfection Services

Xenex's patented Full SpectrumTM pulsed xenon UV room disinfection system is used for the advanced disinfection of healthcare facilities. Due to its speed and ease of use, the Xenex system has proven to integrate smoothly into hospital cleaning operations. Xenex’s mission is to save lives and reduce suffering by destroying the deadly microorganisms that cause hospital acquired infections (HAIs). The company is backed by well-known investors that include EW Healthcare Partners, Piper Jaffray Merchant Services, Malin Corporation, Battery Ventures, Tectonic Ventures, Targeted Technology Fund II and RK Ventures. For more information, visit Xenex.com.

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