New technology helps hospital fight infections
Memorial Hospital of Converse County (MHCC) has a new weapon in the fight against emerging pathogens like Clostridium difficile colitis, known as C. difficile and MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that are resistant to routine cleaning methods, thanks to a gift from Converse County Hospital Foundation. The Foundation contributed $19,600 toward the purchase of the unit for MHCC through the Fifty Families program.
MHCC has recently acquired a device that uses new technology to kill infectious viruses and bacteria. ""One of the biggest problems that hospitalized patients face is getting infected by bacteria and viruses that live in hospitals,"" says Karl Hertz, assistant administrator of MHCC.
The machine is being used primarily in the main hospital and travel to the Medical Office Building as well.
The device, called the Clorox Optimum-UV System, emits ultraviolet-C radiation, says Chris Clark, business-development manager for UV technology at
Clorox Healthcare. Clorox Healthcare partnered with manufacturer UltraViolet Devices to develop the product as part of Clorox's effort to adopt new technologies for a ""total disinfection plan."" Each unit costs about $35,000. Radiation from 4 ultraviolet bulbs held together in an aluminum structure kills bacteria. Each cleaning process takes about 15 minutes, and the machine, which resembles a lightsaber, can be wheeled around to different locations in the hospital.
Hospitals have long battled in-hospital infections. The most recent update of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey examining healthcare-associated infections estimated that in 2011, there were 721,800 infections in hospitals in the United States.
The new technology is one way the hospital can minimize those risks.
At MHCC, it also will be used in operating rooms and the rooms of patients with multidrug-resistant infections like C. difficile. MHCC is the first healthcare system in Wyoming to use the machine. Prior to getting the new technology, disinfecting rooms was strictly a manual process. But cleaning and disinfection is an effective method of reducing the number of microorganisms on environmental surfaces, and the UV light further reduces those organisms.
We invited the boys basketball team to the hospital for a device demonstration and to express our thanks for their donation. It was an opportunity for this group of young men and their coaches to witness philanthropy firsthand. They listened as we explained the role and purpose of the Foundation and its importance to the hospital and our community. They were able to see how the Foundation uses donations to assist in purchasing equipment that benefits the entire community. We all benefit when we give selflessly—give your time, your funds or both!