Find out how a germ-zapping robot is helping this regional hospital disinfect hard-to-reach surfaces

by Brianna Crandall — May 18, 2018 — Bacteria and other germs can be found everywhere — offices, schools, skilled nursing facilities and even hospitals, points out Xenex Disinfection Services. Despite efforts to disinfect, superbugs like MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C.diff) are resistant to chemicals and common cleaning practices. Superbugs are often antibiotic resistant as well. Each year these drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 75,000, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That is why Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) in North Dakota, which serves approximately 55,000 people in nine counties and was named a “Top 100 Critical Access Hospital” as well as a “Best Places to Work in Healthcare” in 2017, has invested in ways to enhance patient care and safety.

The hospital recently purchased a Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot. The Xenex LightStrike pulses environmentally friendly xenon ultraviolet (UV) light and quickly destroys microscopic pathogens that may be lurking on hospital surfaces. LightStrike delivers intense germicidal action from 200-315nm.

R.O.S.I.E. (Robot Offering Safe Ideal Environment), JRMC’s robot, enhances environmental cleanliness by destroying hard-to-kill germs, bacteria and superbugs in hard-to-clean places. JRMC will use R.O.S.I.E. in its operating rooms and patient care areas to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Dane Grebel, JRMC Environmental Services manager, remarked:

Everyone that comes into the hospital — patients, families, vendors or even staff — brings germs with them. Some of these germs are resistant to even the best cleaning solutions and methods available. That is why JRMC invested in this technology. We want the best and safest place for our patients to receive care.

To raise awareness for R.O.S.I.E., JRMC asked the public to participate in a Name the Robot contest. More than 200 children from Jamestown and rural schools submitted coloring pages and suggestions for names.

Lisa Jackson, JRMC Foundation director, remarked:

Because of those students and because of the community’s help, JRMC raised enough money to purchase R.O.S.I.E. We’re grateful for the generous nature of the people in this region. They are a critical piece of the healthcare puzzle.

According to Xenex, R.O.S.I.E. can disinfect a typical patient or procedure room in 10-15 minutes. Operated by the hospital’s cleaning staff, R.O.S.I.E. can disinfect in any department or unit at JRMC. R.O.S.I.E. is a tool for the cleaning staff and does not replace any person, notes Xenex.

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are rare, said JRMC Quality Manager Jenna Bredahl. Out of 1,571 procedures in 2017, only eight SSIs were reported at JRMC. That’s less than one percent. Nationwide, the average rate of SSIs is 2 to 5 percent.

But each SSI can cost the hospital between $15,000 and $50,000. A LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot costs about $100,000. In addition to preventing the human suffering from an infection, by preventing just a couple of SSIs, R.O.S.I.E. pays for herself, Jackson said.

More than 400 healthcare facilities around the world use Xenex’s pulsed xenon UV robots. Numerous health-care facilities credit Xenex for helping them reduce their infection rates significantly. Several hospitals have published their C.diff, MRSA and surgical site infection rate reduction studies in peer-reviewed journals.

JRMC invited supporters to celebrate the arrival of R.O.S.I.E. yesterday, on May 17.

For more information and studies about Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots, visit the company’s website.