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Evaluating the Efficacy of UV Technology in Acute Care

      Background

      Environmental surface cleaning is essential for controlling hospital-acquired infections, but manual disinfection alone is not always sufficient to reduce microorganism presence. Automated ultraviolet-C (UV-C) devices can be used to supplement manual disinfection, but the efficacy of these devices has not yet been fully explored. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of a UV-C device following manual disinfection in two U.S. hospitals, with a focus on high-touch surfaces, including electronics and vertical surfaces that are incompatible with solution-based disinfection.

      Methods

      Sampling was carried out on 28 types of surfaces present in 21 rooms in two hospitals. The total bacterial load was determined by swabbing each surface in triplicate, then plating and incubating on Rodac plates for 48 hours at 37 °C. Each surface was swabbed after manual disinfection but prior to treatment with an automated UV-C device, and then again following UV-C treatment. The data was fit to a general linear model using commercially available statistics software.

      Conclusions

      Treating hospital rooms with an automated UV-C device may be a safe and effective way to reduce or eliminate microorganism presence that remains after manual disinfection, particularly for high-touch or vertical surfaces that are incompatible with solution-based methods. Further clinical studies should generate enough data to assess the impact of UV-C devices on hospital-acquired infection prevention.