Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center now provides advanced technology to clean hospital rooms and better protect patients against potentially deadly infections.
Southern Ocean Medical Center uses the Helios ultraviolet disinfection system from Surfacide, LLC. The system uses three portable towers to emit powerful, yet safe UV-C energy that is effective against bacteria, spores, and viruses, including “superbugs.”
“Protecting patients against infection has always been a high priority for us,” said Regina Foley, Ph.D., MBA, RN, chief operations officer of Southern Ocean Medical Center. “This technology provides an extra layer of protection for both patients and team members, which is especially important today because we need to take every step available to guard against infection from antibiotic-resistant organisms and other infectious agents.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 722,000 such infections just in U.S. acute-care hospitals. The annual cost to treat these infections is estimated at nearly $10 billion a year. Patients who acquire an infection in a hospital also must remain in the facility for an average of 17 more days, further increasing health care costs.
In addition to using traditional cleaning methods, Southern Ocean Medical Center invested in the Surfacide UV-C technology to combat healthcare-associated infections. UV-C energy has been used for decades to kill organisms in water supplies and other applications where bacteria may be present. Now it is being used to kill organisms on hard surfaces found in hospitals including bed rails, TV remotes, patient tray tables, guest chairs, countertops, and bathrooms.
“It’s no longer enough to rely just on approaches such as antibiotics and manual disinfection,” said Linda Broderick, director of Environmental Services and Transport, Southern Ocean Medical Center. “With this industry-leading technology, we can truly say we are going the extra mile to protect both our patients, visitors and team members.”
The 10-to-30 minute process is performed by the Surfacide system in a closed room, after an environmental service cleaning professional has manually cleaned the area and wiped down surfaces. Treating the room with UV-C energy helps disinfect areas that were not completely cleaned manually.
The Helios ultraviolet disinfection system is also used at Hackensack University Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean Medical Center, Bayshore Medical Center, Palisades Medical Center and Raritan Bay Medical Center – Old Bridge and Perth Amboy.