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Clinical, operational, and financial impact of an ultraviolet-C terminal disinfection intervention at a community hospital

      Background

      Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a significant contributor to adverse patient outcomes and excess cost of inpatient care. Adjunct ultraviolet-C (UV-C) disinfection may be a viable strategy for reducing HAIs. This study aimed to measure the clinical, operational, and financial impact of a UV-C terminal disinfection intervention in a community hospital setting.

      Methods

      Using a pre-post study design, we compared the HAI rates of 5 multidrug-resistant bacteria (Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) from 6 culture sites before and after a 12-month facility-wide UV-C intervention. To measure impact of UV-C disinfection on hospital operations, mean inpatient emergency room wait time was calculated. Finally, we conducted a cost saving analysis to evaluate the financial benefits of the intervention.

      Results

      Overall, 245 HAIs among 13,177 inpatients were observed during a 12-month intervention period, with an incidence rate of 3.94 per 1,000 patient days. This observed HAIs incidence was 19.2% lower than the preintervention period (4.87 vs 3.94 per 1,000 patient days; P = .006). The intervention did not adversely impact emergency department admissions (297.9 vs 296.2 minutes; P = .18) and generated a direct cost savings of $1,219,878 over a 12-month period.

      Conclusions

      The UV-C disinfection intervention was associated with a statistically significant facility-wide reduction of multidrug-resistant HAIs and generated substantial direct cost savings without adversely impacting hospital operations.

      Key Words

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