Iredell Memorial Hospital utilizes UV light to eliminate pathogens

In an effort to keep hospital rooms safe from drug-resistant organism for providers, patients and their families, Iredell Health System has implemented ultraviolet (UV) technology to better detect those pathogens.

"Patient safety is a top priority at Iredell," said Pam Gill, Director of Infection Prevention for Iredell Health System. "We chose to purchase these UV devices as an added measure to help us prevent healthcare-associated infections and ensure the safest possible environment of care for our patients, staff and visitors. The device is able to treat areas that are difficult to clean manually, and it allows us to track which rooms have been treated for more accurate reporting."

In addition to environmental services cleaning and disinfection hospital rooms with chemical cleaners, Iredell has implemented two Clorox Healthcare Optimum-UV Enlight Systems. These systems, which use UV light to kill organisms by inactivating their DNA in order to prevent them from replicating, are placed on either side of a patient bed and bathroom where they run for five minute intervals. This process further intensifies the cleaning process and removes microscopic organisms like MRSA and C. Diff in five minutes with an eight-foot range.

"With pathogens such as C. Diff. able to survive on surfaces for months at a time, we felt it was important to adopt a comprehensive approach – combining manual surface disinfection with UV technology," said Gill. "We want the adoption of the UV devices to give peace of mind to our patients, to reassure them their safety is what is most important to our staff."

Adding UV lights has been shown to reduce transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria by up to 30 percent, but the high cost of similiar UV machines--around $90,000--has turned off providers.