Nearly one-third of Americans have experienced a healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) or have a friend or relative who contracted one, according to a new survey from Xenex Healthcare Services. HAIs are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and while hospitals have stepped up efforts to prevent these deadly infections, more needs to be done.
Evidence continues to mount that hospital cleanliness plays a role in the spread of HAIs. Hospital cleaning teams are not able to disinfect all the surfaces in patient rooms, with research showing that more than half of the surfaces remain untouched. Additionally, deadly superbugs are showing resistance to cleaning fluids, making them even more difficult to remove and eliminate. As a result, consumers are beginning to demand hospitals make patient rooms safer by completely disinfecting them with 6 out of 10 people surveyed saying they would prefer a hospital which uses advanced disinfection systems to clean patient rooms.
Consumer awareness of the high risk of contracting an HAI is growing. This awareness, combined with increased reporting requirements and reimbursement criteria, is pressuring hospitals to look for new technologies to improve their disinfection and infection prevention efforts, said Mark Stibich, PhD, chief scientific officer of Xenex. Fortunately, affordable new technologies are available which can quickly and effectively disinfect hospital rooms.
The recent survey, which was conducted by ORC Research, revealed that 63 percent of Americans are worried about contracting an HAI and that concern increases steadily with age (73 percent for age 65+). The survey also revealed that 75 percent would feel safer in a hospital using PX-UV (pulsed xenon ultraviolet light) technology to automate the disinfection of patient rooms because unlike current cleaning practices, PX-UV technology completely disinfects hospital rooms. Launched earlier this year by Xenex, the portable and affordable PX-UV system uses pulsed xenon UV light to quickly destroy microorganisms on surfaces and in the air without contact or chemicals.
Being admitted to the hospital can make a patient sicker. People are beginning to realize hospitals are breeding grounds for some of the worlds deadliest superbugs, and that current methods used to clean the hospital rooms arent working. While hospitals have tried to prevent the spread of HAIs, very little progress has been made and thats where Xenex disinfection technology can make a real difference, said Brian Cruver, CEO of Xenex.