These healthcare facilities used a UVC machine, called the Tru-D SmartUVC, to disinfect rooms where patients who had been infected with any of the four “bad bugs” had been treated. The UVC machine “emits UVC light into an empty room, [where] the light bounces and reflects into hard-to-reach areas such as open drawers or cabinet fixtures.” In about thirty minutes’ time, the light works to eliminate harmful bacteria from the room “by disrupting their DNA.”
The results of the study showed that using quaternary ammonium with UV light was the most effective disinfection strategy overall, and was especially successful when it came to preventing MRSA transmission.
When it came to preventing VRE transmission, they found that using chlorine bleach instead of quaternary ammonium “cut transmissions of VRE by more than half.” Even better, the researchers noted that by following the chlorine bleach disinfection with the UV light, they could reduce VRE transmission by a whopping 64%.
Unfortunately, when it came to C. difficile
, the researchers found that none of the disinfectant combinations resulted in a significant reduction of incidence. Since there was only one case of Acinetobacter
in the trial, the researchers decided to omit it from their analyses.
By cutting the amount of healthcare-associated infections in hospitals, UVC machines could potentially save hospitals a significant amount of money, according to the press release. A potential issue with using the machines is the extra 30 minutes of staff time it would take it turn over a room and make it ready for the next patient that is coming in.
“There is such a push in the hospital environment to turn rooms over that really any amount of added time is viewed as a potential issue. In a large hospital, you might have 100 rooms that are vacated and turned over in one day,” Dr. Anderson explained. To overcome such an obstacle, hospitals would need to consider a number of factors such as: “varied discharge times, the demand for patient rooms, and availability of the machines.”