With hospital-acquired infections around the country going largely underreported, now, more than ever, executives are looking for innovative ways to emphasize hygiene and cleanliness at their facilities. One solution--a robot that uses flashes of ultraviolet light to sterilize and kill germs--has proven successful at several hospitals over the past year, reports CNNMoney.
The robot, known as the Xenex, was developed by researchers at the Houston Technology Center in 2009, but just in the last year has helped one hospital in Massachusetts reduce hospital-acquired infections from C. diff by close to 70%, and four more in North Carolina lower Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections by 35%.
Joanne Levin, medical director for the infection prevention program at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., tells CNNMoney that in the year prior to using Xenex (2010), one out of every 129 patients was infected with C. diff. She said that since last January, the hospital likely saved five lives and prevented two colostomies.
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