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Published on December 03, 2014

Mercy adopts new high-tech UV-C light system to zap germs and viruses

UV-C Lights in a patient roomAs part of Mercy Medical Center’s ongoing efforts to improve the health and safety of patients and employees, the hospital has purchased a Sanuvox Aseptix Ultra Violet (UV) System to provide high-level sanitization of rooms being prepared for incoming patients.

The new disinfection unit is used as a preventive measure to destroy microorganisms by emitting UV-C light throughout the room via two light towers placed in the room by Mercy’s trained Environmental Services staff.

“Mercy has taken a very proactive and preventive step – amidst all the talk about hospital-acquired infections (HAI) and with flu season here – by putting into use this high-tech ultraviolet irradiation system,” said Les Etscheidt, director of Mercy’s Environmental Services department.

The new disinfectant system uses two towers that emit ultraviolet light to damage and kill the cellular membranes of microorganisms that cause infections. The towers are mounted on wheels, allowing them to be rolled from room to room to treat all surfaces with the UV disinfection system.  Each tower has eight high-intensity UV-C germicidal lamps. When used simultaneously, all surfaces and areas of a room are treated and a room can be disinfected in 10 minutes.  An important feature is that the UV-C lights kill organisms on soft surfaces such as upholstered furniture and curtains, which are traditionally harder to clean.

The two towers communicate with each other wirelessly during the disinfection process. They are controlled or operated through a tablet such as an iPad or even with an app on a smartphone.

“We still fully clean and set up the rooms as we always did,” said Etscheidt. “But this does give an extra layer of security knowing that patient rooms are completely disinfected for the next patient. It’s really an addition to our arsenal of tools to better sanitize the rooms for our patients. The exciting thing about this is the light has the ability to reach even the more difficult areas to clean. This assures we have met the highest standard of patient safety.”

Mercy acquired and began using the new disinfection system last month.

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