Implementation and impact of ultraviolet environmental disinfection in an acute care setting


      Multiple-drug-resistant organisms (MDROs) and Clostridium difficile (CD) are significant problems in health care. Evidence suggests that these organisms are transmitted to patients by the contaminated environment.


      This is a retrospective study of the implementation of ultraviolet environmental disinfection (UVD) following discharge cleaning of contact precautions rooms and other high-risk areas at Westchester Medical Center, a 643-bed tertiary care academic medical center. Incidence rates of hospital-acquired MDROs plus CD before and during the UVD use were evaluated using rate ratios and piecewise regression.


      The average time per UVD was 51 minutes, and machines were in use 30% of available time. UVD was used 11,389 times; 3,833 (34%) of uses were for contact precautions discharges. UVD was completed for 76% of contact precautions discharges. There was a significant 20% decrease in hospital-acquired MDRO plus CD rates during the 22-month UVD period compared with the 30-month pre-UVD period (2.14 cases/1,000 patient-days vs 2.67 cases per 1,000 patient-days, respectively; rate ratio, 0.80; 95% confidence interval: 0.73-0.88, P < .001).


      During the time period UVD was in use, there was a significant decrease in overall hospital-acquired MDRO plus CD in spite of missing 24% of opportunities to disinfect contact precautions rooms. This technology was feasible to use in our acute care setting and appeared to have a beneficial effect.

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