Yearlong use of robot reduced infection rate, nursing home finds

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The Jewish Home and Care Center in Milwaukee said this month that it had reduced the rate of infections after a year of using the LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot to disinfect rooms.

Results were published in BMC Infectious Diseases. Researchers said there was an 88% decrease in contamination on high-touch surfaces after using LightStrike. It had a 32% decrease in urinary tract infections, a 20% decrease in respiratory infections, a 10% decrease in skin infections and a 100% reduction in enteric infection rates. Readmissions to the hospital decreased by 54% overall.

The center said its evaluation of data led it to determine that the robot was “superior to manual cleaning alone for decreasing microbes on environmental surfaces,” and that it led to a decrease in infection rates or hospitalization for infection.

“When we invested in pulsed xenon UV disinfection technology, we wanted to determine if PX-UV disinfection could have a positive impact on our facility-wide infection rates as well as infection-related hospitalizations,” said Christine Kovach, Director of Research at Jewish Home and the lead author on the study. “We were extremely pleased to see how our infection rates went down after we began using Nikki, our pulsed xenon UV robot for room disinfection — especially when hospital-acquired infections were on the rise, meaning that the influx of pathogens from the hospital sources didn't adversely affect our patients.”

More than 400 facilities are using the robots, but the Jewish Home was the first skilled nursing facility to use it on its campus.

“We have the same residents as those in acute-care settings. Based on what we have experienced, the robot has performed its job extremely well and we strongly encourage other facilities to invest in pulsed xenon UV technology so that they can experience similar infection reduction results,” said Elaine Dyer, RN, BSN, NHA, MS, Administrator of the Jewish Home.



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