Hospital adds to fleet of room-cleaning robots

By - Last modified: May 22, 2013 at 10:36 AM

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Contributed photo of TRU-D in action at LVHN.
Contributed photo of TRU-D in action at LVHN.

Your robot now is ready to clean your room.

Lehigh Valley Health Network announced the deployment of two additional Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfector SmartUVC devices, adding to its existing arsenal of five 5-foot-5 germ-killing ultraviolet disinfection robots.

With seven devices taking up residence within the network, LVHN is deploying the full fleet to fight superbugs.

TRU-D – the signature product of Memphis-based Lumalier – is a portable UV disinfection system that measures reflected UV-C emissions with Sensor360 to automatically calculate the pathogen-lethal UV dose required for disinfection of health care environments. LVHN was an early adopter of the technology, receiving TRU-D No. 1 in 2008.

"The machine is not a replacement for humans, but an adjunct," said Terry Burger, director of infection control and prevention at LVHN. "One does not replace the other."

The machines cost more than $100,000 each, Burger said.

While it is leading-edge technology, evidence is still being evaluated and research is still being done to determine cost benefits, Burger said. However, generally speaking, most patients would be more willing to go where they know the room would be the cleanest, she added.

"We were an early adopter; we chose this product because it has the science behind it. We know it has been thoroughly tested," Burger said.

Burger said early scientific research indicates the machines eradicate harmful organisms more effectively than humans because the machines use UV technology during the cleaning process.

"It can penetrate anything it sees," Burger said. "We've been able to stop many outbreaks."

LVHN uses the device to target specific rooms and infection clusters, including all operating rooms on a rotational basis.

With 1,000 beds and seven machines, LVHN cannot use the devices in each room in its three-hospital network, so the devices are spread through each site.

Once a hospital staff member cleans a room, including removing all linens, opening all cabinets, doors and drawers, the robot is sent in to do another cleaning.

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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