Xenex Healthcare Services recently participated in a House Committee on Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health roundtable, Innovative Private Sector Technologies to Improve Patient Safety in Washington, D.C. Xenex was one of only seven companies that presented to the committee at the invitation of Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Health.
According to Buerkle, the roundtable was created to provide an opportunity for the committee, VA, and the veteran service organizations to examine innovative patient safety solutions to combat HAIs, which affect approximately 1.7 million hospital patients each year. The discussion focused on how the VA can better utilize innovative solutions to prevent and eliminate HAIs and create a safer and more effective VA healthcare system.
Xenex chairman Morris Miller and CEO Brian Cruver addressed the committee, which was comprised of representatives from the Veterans Health Administration (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs), The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., AMVETS, and House members.
Hospitals exist to make people well, not to make them sick, and unfortunately thats what is happening in our VA hospitals right now," says Morris Miller, chairman of Xenex. "The good news is that we have the technology to fix this problem. Based on results from Xenex customers, deploying the Xenex room disinfection devices in our nations 152 VA hospitals will lower infection rates and save lives. Xenex can save the VA 50 percent annually in direct costs per room cleaning, $400 million in indirect costs, and may reduce annual deaths due to infections in VA hospitals by over 50 percent.
Xenex offers a fast, safe and cost-effective method for the automated disinfection of healthcare facilities, such as patient rooms, ORs and ICUs. Xenexs portable room disinfection system uses pulsed xenon ultraviolet light to destroy viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores in the patient environment without contact or chemicals. Uniquely designed for ease of use and portability, a hospitals environmental services staff can operate the Xenex device without disrupting hospital operations or requiring the use of expensive chemicals. The Xenex system will disinfect dozens of rooms per day, so hospitals can use the system continuously to reduce contamination levels throughout their facilities.
Xenex systems, currently in use by hospitals throughout the U.S., have proven to be effective against a variety of the most dangerous superbugs, including Clostridium difficile endospores (C. diff), MRSA, VRE, and Acinetobacter. Studies show the Xenex room disinfection system is consistently 20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning practices. Xenex customer Cooley Dickinson Hospital recently reported 67 percent lower C. diff rates and 100 percent lower C. diff deaths and colectomy rates since adoption of Xenexs room disinfection system in January 2011. Other customers reporting positive results from their usage of Xenex's room disinfection system include Houstons MD Anderson Cancer Center and Cone Health System in North Carolina.
Its important that our elected officials pay attention to the quality of care our veterans are receiving, which includes taking every precaution to ensure that our VA hospitals are clean and free of the deadly superbugs which can cause healthcare associated infections, says Cruver. Unfortunately, current cleaning methods leave rooms unsafe and we are encouraged that this committee wants to understand some of the proven new technologies, such as our room disinfection system, in hopes of eradicating these pathogens from our VA hospitals.