Mercy Health Love County - News

UV Light Disinfection Deployed in Hospital Rooms

Posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2016


UV Light Cleaning Rooms: Kari VanBeber, housekeeping supervisor,
Kelvin McMillan, infection control officer, and Megan Yow, quality assurance
officer, gather around the hospital's new ultraviolet light system for
cleaning rooms of viruses and bacteria.

Mercy Health/Love County has added a new housekeeping weapon, ultraviolet light, in the fight against hospital-associated infections. 

Hospital rooms are receiving a dose of short-wave UV light before the next patient is admitted. 

“The wavelength of this ultraviolet light, UV-C, is the most effective in the spectrum at killing bacteria and viruses,” said Kelvin McMillan, the hospital’s infection control officer. 

UV light disinfection is new technology for stopping the spread of infections. Mercy Health/Love County Hospital is one of the first in the region to acquire a system, McMillan said. 

Environmental Services Department housekeepers began using the Clorox Healthcare Optimum UV Enlight System in July. They turn on the machine’s powerful lights in vacant patient rooms and bathrooms for a total of 15 minutes. 

The application of UV light occurs as a new, last step following the normal manual cleaning with germicides and disinfectants. The UV light bounces off walls, floor, ceiling, and other surfaces to encompass the furnishings. 

The goal is to destroy harmful microorganisms, including antibiotic-resistant pathogens, that might remain on bed, railings, mattress top, bedside tables, open drawers, wheelchairs, carts, fixtures, even the TV remote. 

“This is another layer of cleaning. Even though we have a very low cross-infection rate here, we know that ‘bugs’ are getting tougher and we want them to fight harder to do damage in Love County,” McMillan said. 

The machine is on a portable platform for easy rolling from room to room. Four UV lights, stacked vertically on a 76-inch pole, supply the power. 

Housekeepers program the operation from an attached computer console. They leave the room and close the door before the lights come on to protect their skin and eyes from exposure.