Erlanger Unveils Germ-Fighting Robots

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Erlanger Health System officials said Wednesday they have taken a giant leap into the future with the addition of a germ-fighting robot that uses ultraviolet light to zap harmful bacteria from equipment and areas throughout the hospital.

Resembling R2D2 from Star Wars, the Xenex robot uses 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. Studies show that the Xenex room disinfection system is consistently 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning practices and effective against a variety of the most dangerous superbugs, including Clostridium difficile endospores (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, and staph bacteria like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.

In just five to 10 minutes, the device can disinfect a patient room, patient bathroom or operating room (OR) by pulsing ultraviolet light, which washes over the surfaces where germs reside without leaving a chemical residue. To disinfect a room after standard cleaning procedures are complete, hospital team members wheel the Xenex robot into the room, begin the automated sequence, and then leave the room. For enhanced safety, a sign placed outside the door warns people not to enter, and a motion sensor automatically shuts off the machine if someone should enter.

Erlanger is the first hospital in Chattanooga and the second hospital in Tennessee to use the Xenex robot. “We already have a strong infection prevention program. The Xenex technology allows us to be even more proactive in protecting the health of our patients and staff,” said Coretha Weaver, Erlanger infection prevention coordinator. “This technology is used in high risk areas, including operating rooms and patient rooms, in conjunction with the extensive cleaning services already provided by our environmental services team.”

“Our team members are very excited to be using this kind of advanced technology in their daily work,” said Steve Wheeler with Erlanger’s Environmental Services. “The environmental services team feels very empowered because they can clearly see that they’re saving lives by preventing infections.”

“Patient safety is always our number one priority,” said Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, Erlanger President and CEO. “Erlanger has long been recognized as the region’s leader in medical technology and highly specialized care, so it’s only fitting that we should employ the same level of technological innovation when it comes to preventing infections. One hospital-acquired infection is one too many, so we are excited to begin using the Xenex system to help us achieve our goal of zero infections.”


Miracle Challenge Benefits Children’s Hospital At Erlanger

Miracle Challenge is a 27-day wellness and exercise challenge that encourages participants to achieve fitness goals, all while raising funds for Chattanooga’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.  Participants can choose one of five fitness tracks — running, walking, cycling/spinning, yoga or boot camp — and will complete 27 mini-challenges ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Residents Celebrate National Zookeeper Week

Residents at Morning Pointe of Chattanooga at Shallowford brought baked goods to the Chattanooga Zoo staff in honor of National Zookeeper Week. As part of the Life Enrichment Program, the assisted living community engages in special outreach projects to thank local businesses and organizations for offering quality activities and services to the residents. Every month, ... (click for more)

State Board In Nashville Approves New Erlanger Behavioral Health Hospital

Members of the board of the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency in Nashville on Wednesday unanimously approved a new $25 million Behavioral Health Hospital planned by Erlanger Health Systems on Holzclaw Avenue.   Parkridge Valley Hospital and CADAS had opposed the issuance of Certificate of Need.  The 88-bed facility will provide "acute adult inpatient ... (click for more)

Pinkston Says Offer Was Made To Dismiss Lawsuit Against Him If Prosecution Of Detective Burns Was Dropped; Judge Greenholtz "Greatly Bothered" By Any Such Offer

District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a hearing Tuesday that an offer was made to drop a lawsuit filed against him by Gatlinburg detective Rodney Burns if he would dismiss two perjury counts against Burns. The district attorney said he should not be disqualified from continuing to prosecute the case or else attorneys would begin suing him or the judge to get a new DA or trial ... (click for more)

Downtown Needs Cleaned Up

My son and I parked on Broad Street and walked to the Billiard Club on Cherry Street this past weekend. It's probably a total of two blocks. In that short walk we passed where Rone Regency used to be on 6th Street and in that doorway was about a years worth of human feces and urine covering the doors and walls. The concrete sidewalk on the street is all broken up and the metal ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)