In the current issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, researchers Nancy L. Havill, MT, Brent A. Moore, PhD, and John M. Boyce, MD, conducted an observational study to compare the microbiological efficacy of automated "no-touch" decontamination systems: an HPV system with that of an automated UVC system (Tru-D Total Room Ultraviolet Disinfection) for room decontamination. "No-touch" automated room decontamination (NTD) systems do not rely on operator proficiency to ensure adequate distribution and precise dose delivery of the disinfectant.
The study, "Comparison of the Microbiological Efficacy of Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor and Ultraviolet Light Processes for Room Decontamination," (1) recorded before-and-after aerobic colony counts for five high-touch sites in 15 patient rooms:
the bedside rail, over-bed table, TV remote, bathroom grab bar and toilet seat. Earlier published research indicates that frequently touched environmental surfaces can be contaminated with epidemiologically important microbes (such as C. diff, VRE and MRSA) that contribute to cross-transmission of patients by contaminating the hands of healthcare workers.
For this comparison, HPV and UVC processes were performed using Clostridium difficile carrier disks. The researchers concluded, "We found that both HPV and UVC decontamination reduce bacterial contamination in patient rooms ... Of the two technologies, UVC decontamination was easier to use and had significantly shorter cycle times, can be administered by personnel with only limited training, and does not require monitoring by personnel during the process." It should be noted that the numbers of spores on the carrier disk biological indicators are "much greater than would be present on surfaces in patient rooms, which presents a difficult challenge for decontamination processes."
As a practical application of these results, UVC (Tru-D) should be used for disinfection of high-touch noncritical environmental surfaces, as defined by the Spaulding Classification system of disinfection methods to reduce infection risks. The Spaulding Classification cites "high-touch" surfaces as identified in this comparison: bed rails, tables, BP cuffs, computers, bedpans, sink/toilet/door handles, etc.
The study also noted with the Tru-D instrument that: "Once activated by a handheld device outside the room, the device emitted UVC in the 254-nm range until all sensors on the instrument reached the desired dose of reflected light (in the UVC range) and the instrument turned itself off."
TRU-D SmartUVC is the only portable UV disinfection system that precisely measures reflected UVC emissions with Sensor360 to automatically deliver the pathogen-lethal UV dose required for each room, dynamically compensating for room size, shape and other dose-altering variables such as the position of contents, windows, blinds and doors. Tru-D uses continuous wave narrow band UVC light for a high efficiency targeting of the DNA-disrupting wavelength that stops pathogens.
Reference: 1. Havill NL, Moore BA, Boyce JM; Comparison of Microbiological Efficacy of Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor and Ultraviolet Light Processes for Room Decontamination. Infect Control Hosp Epidem. 2012;33.