MILWAUKEE -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- More than half a million people get sick from Clostridium difficile (C. diff) each year. And each year, these infections, which are common in older adults after treatment with antibiotics, become more frequent, severe, and difficult to treat. The bacteria that cause infections are commonly found in healthcare settings, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities.
To combat the bacteria and eliminate the risk of C. diff infections, as well as many other common health risks such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), norovirus and staph infections that are common in healthcare environments, the Jewish Home and Care Center has become the first Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) in the United States to employ a Xenex germ-eliminating robot.
While each room is still cleaned efficiently and thoroughly by staff, harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi still linger in some areas, especially those that human hands can’t reach. The Xenex pulsed xenon UV room disinfection robot, nicknamed Nikki, can then go in and, as an additional patient safety measure, disinfect a room in 5-15 minutes, using environmentally friendly mercury-free technology. Because the robot is portable, it can then be easily rolled into the next room or area to be cleaned.
Michael I. Sattell, president and CEO of the Jewish Home, says, “In accordance with our mission, we are committed to providing the safest, most secure and clean environment for our residents and guests. We believe this investment in xenon technology furthers our commitment to radically lessen the likelihood of common pathogen transmission in our buildings and to protect our residents’, visitors’, and staff’s health.”
More than 200 hospitals are now using Xenex Disinfection Services’ robots nationwide, but the Jewish Home is the first Skilled Nursing Facility to use it on its continuum of care campus. Elaine Dyer, RN, BSN, NHA, MS, Administrator of the Jewish Home, says, “We have the same residents as those in acute-care settings. If we can avoid one harmful and debilitating episode for our population, we have provided the best environment and clinical outcome possible, and the robot has proven its worth. We have also taken this step to avoid re-infections, which are a major cause of readmissions to hospitals.”
Because JHCC shares its campus with Chai Point Senior Living, a residence with independent and assisted living apartments, they are able to share Nikki the Xenex robot with the hospitality staff there to keep the full continuum of care clean and disinfected. In that way, they are assured that if spouses are living apart, but visiting each other, they are not bringing infectious bacteria and viruses across the campus. Deborah Rosenthal Zemel, MS, director of Chai Point, says, “It can be heartbreaking to tell a husband or wife that they can’t go visit their spouse for weeks at a time due to a health situation. But it can be a matter of life or death. Nikki makes that unnecessary.”
Here’s how it works: To disinfect a room, after standard cleaning procedures have been completed, the trained hospitality team member wheels the Xenex robot into the room, positions it beside the bed, begins the automated sequence, and then leaves the room. A sign is placed outside the room warning people to keep out 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. From outside the room, the purple UV light is visible through the window, as the robot’s “neck” raises and lowers and the rays reach every area of the room.
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The Jewish Home and Care Center offers a comprehensive continuum of care services to the community, including long- and short-term rehabilitation in a post-acute care setting, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, long-term nursing care, skilled nursing care and respite care. An adult day program and brain health program are also offered on the premises as community-based services. For more information, visit www.jhccmilwaukee.org.
Chai Point Senior Living offers assisted and independent living apartments in an elegant high-rise building overlooking Lake Michigan. Geared for today’s active and engaged older adults, Chai Point residents are sophisticated and culturally, socially and politically engaged. For more information, visit www.chaipoint.org.
Xenex Disinfection Services: Xenex’s patented pulsed xenon UV room disinfection system is a pesticidal device used for the advanced environmental cleaning of healthcare facilities. The Xenex system has been repeatedly shown to integrate smoothly into hospital cleaning operations because of its speed and ease of use. The Xenex mission is to eliminate bacteria, viruses and spores in the patient environment that can cause hospital-acquired infections and to become the new standard method for disinfection in healthcare facilities worldwide. For more information, visit www.xenex.com.