Wheaton installs ‘germ-zapping robots’ at two hospitals

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare has installed two Xenex “germ-zapping robots” used to eliminate microorganisms that can cause hospital acquired infections, the health system announced.

“It’s the fastest and most powerful technology available,” says Lynn Grudzielanek, Sr. Vice President – Operations, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. “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.”

Elmbrook Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital are the first two Wheaton Franciscan campuses to implement the Xenex robot system. Wheaton said both robots can disinfect more than 200 rooms a month.

Wheaton said the two Xenex robots use “pulsed xenon ultraviolet (UV-C) light that is 25,000 times more powerful than sunlight to destroy harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even bacterial spores. The system is effective against the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, and staph bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.”

According to the health system, “Each treatment takes about 5 minutes. To disinfect a room after standard cleaning procedures are complete, hospital team members wheel the Xenex robot into the room, position it beside the bed, begin the automated sequence, and then leave the room. A sign is placed outside the room warning people not to enter while the robot is in operation, and a motion sensor on the robot automatically shuts off the machine if anyone should enter. The process is then repeated on the other side of the bed and in the bathroom, for a total of 15 minutes to thoroughly clean each room.”

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