RCH Adds UV Disinfecting System for Increased Safety

Rooks County Health Center has acquired a UV sterilizer to enhance the safety of patients, visitors and staff.

An ultraviolet (UV) sterilizer uses ultraviolet germicidal irradiation as a sterilization method to break down microorganisms including pathogens, viruses and molds. The ultraviolet rays work to destroy microorganisms’ DNA, thus disrupting their ability to reproduce and effectively killing them.

Ultraviolet light in the germicidal wavelength (185-254 nanometers) renders the organisms sterile. The molecular structure of the DNA is broken down rendering the microorganism harmless.

UV-C light kills over 99.9% of bacteria, mold spores, algae, protozoa, viruses, and yeast. As well as killing the virus that causes COVID-19, the system is also effective against more common pathogens that cause MRSA, VRE and C. difficile.

Stephanie Bjornstad, Quality Coordinator and Risk Manager at RCH, has been working to obtain this technology for a couple of years and said “I am SO excited that we now have this capability to better protect our staff and our patients”.

Stephanie went on to explain the impact on safety at RCH by saying “the RD (Rapid Disinfector) UV light will be used after environmental services have cleaned a room after a patient has been discharged.  Our environmental services staff does a great job already, and using this light after they have cleaned will kill any microbes that may still be in the patient’s room/ environment, ensuring that the room is clean and safe for the next patient”

“It will also protect the staff.  If we have a patient in the hospital in isolation with an illness that could be contagious, we can run the RD UV light in the isolation room after the patient is dismissed but PRIOR to environmental services cleaning.   This way the environmental services staff will be assured they will be safe when they go in to clean that isolation room, as it will be free of microbes BEFORE they clean the room.  This makes it safer for patients coming into the hospital and for the staff working in the hospital.  It could cut down on our incidents of healthcare acquired infections, although those are already very low.  It will be nice to know we have that added layer of protection for everyone”. 

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