It has come to the attention of hospital administrators (HA) that hand-hygiene rates in hospitals throughout the country are abysmal. Despite the many efforts on the part of hospital epidemiologists and infection control practitioners, it seems nearly impossible to get clinical staff, especially physicians, to wash their hands consistently and effectively. This is particularly disconcerting to administrators tasked with fiscal responsibility due to the 2008 federal ruling that states the treatment of hospital acquired conditions, such as nosocomial infection, will no longer be reimbursed by Medicare. In an effort to decrease the potential loss in profits since the ruling, HA’s are looking at medical technologies that will make up for the lack of proper hand-washing by their staff and also successfully keep rates of hospital acquired infections (HAI) low.
A medical technology company that is looking to fill in that hand-hygiene gap is San Antonio-based Xenex Disinfection Services. This company uses PX-UV, a patented UV technology administered by robotic methods to eliminate pathogens that are known to cause HAI. Xenex collaborated with Curtis Donskey, M.D., a renowned researcher whose work focuses on transmission of nosocomial pathogens, to conduct a study to highlight the efficacy of Xenex’s disinfection system to eliminate the Clostridium difficile (C. diff) spores, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) in a hospital setting. The results of the study were recently published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (ICHE).
The results indicated that a significant reduction in the rates of pathogen contamination on frequently-touched surfaces is possible with the use of the Xenex device. Study conclusions also showed that the concentration of pathogens on surfaces does not have a negative impact on the system’s efficacy.
In response to the results of the trial, Xenex’ s CEO Morris Miller had this to say: “The goal of room disinfection is to provide a safe environment for patients and healthcare workers. This ICHE study clearly establishes the fact that in real-world hospital environments, the Xenex device is capable of quickly destroying pathogens on surfaces. We believe that the most important evidence is an actual decrease in patient infections, which only Xenex customers have reported in peer-reviewed studies.”