Robots being used to eliminate germs from hospital

DENVER -- Porter Adventist Hospital is now using germ zapping robots that look a lot like R2D2 to help minimize the chance of infections.

UV light has been used for years, but the Xenex germ zapping robot uses new technology and pulsed xenon UV light to quickly destroy bacteria, viruses, mold and other pathogens.

“The type of UV, and the power of the UV that is being put out by this is such that in five minutes we can literally sterilize the table top surface, or top of the bed, or the phone receiver, or the computer console etc, and those are areas that are sometimes hard for us to get at using regular bleach wipes and things like that,” said Dr. Tom Drake, the Chief Medical Officer at Porter Hospital.

The robots are consistently 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning practices, and they are having an impact. Studies from hospitals across the country show the use of this robot has decreased infection rates anywhere from 20 to 100 percent. That’s great news for patients.

For example, a knee replacement patient who gets an infection could spend one year and $100,000 fighting that infection. “For patients it can be the best thing that never happened to them, is to not have an infection,” Dr Drake said.

Porter Adventist Hospital has a better infection rate than the national average, but Dr. Drake is hoping the two new robots will help them improve that rate.

Porter is one of only a few hospitals across the state to use the new technology.

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