Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Uses Robots to Combat HAIs

Milwaukee-based Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is using a new tool to prevent hospital-acquired infections: a robot.

The health system has installed two portable Xenex germ-zapping robots — named Mr. Clean and Cicero — that use pulsed xenon ultraviolet light to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and bacterial spores. The robots are effective against such diseases as Clostridium difficile, norovirus, influenza, Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and other staph bacteria.

"Hospital-acquired infections like C. diff kill 20,000 people a year in the United States. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare is committed to doing our part to reduce that number," said Lynn Grudzielanek, senior vice president of operations for Wheaton Franciscan, in a news release.

The robots disinfect more than 200 rooms a month at Wheaton Franciscan, including operating rooms, intensive care patient rooms and interventional radiology and C-section suites. The robot is used on either side of the bed and in the bathroom, and each room takes roughly 15 minutes to clean. The UV light reaches every surface in the room and does not leave a chemical residue.

"It's the fastest and most powerful technology available," Ms. Grudzielanek said.

More Articles on Infection Control:
Study: Homes Are Reservoirs for MRSA
Novant Health Says 3 More Potentially Exposed to Deadly Disease
Treating Neonates With Antibiotics Increases Infection Risks

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