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Xenex Disinfection Services testified in late June before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; Subcommittee on Research and Technology; and Subcommittee on Oversight. The hearing, “Technology for Patient Safety at Veterans Hospitals,” included testimony from Morris Miller, CEO of Xenex, Dr. Chetan Jinadatha, chief of infectious diseases at Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, and other industry experts. Xenex presented testimony about the effectiveness of its germ-zapping robot in reducing healthcare associated infection (HAI) rates at U.S. hospitals and VA facilities.
According to the hearing charter, the purpose of the hearing was to assess the potential benefits of new technologies to prevent HAIs, especially given the high percentage of HAI and mortality rates among patients at some Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. 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.
Studies have shown that the five most common HAIs increase U.S. direct health care costs by at least $10 billion annually. Both direct and indirect (e.g., post-discharge nursing care) HAI costs are estimated at up to $45 billion per year. Therefore, one focus of research is on new infection prevention technologies. While rigorous compliance with conventional prevention techniques (e.g., hand-washing, isolation of infected patients, etc.) must still be common practice, promising new technologies for sterilizing medical equipment along with “high touch” surfaces at hospitals are being developed, such as UV disinfection systems.
Research and Technology Subcommittee chairman Larry Bucshon, MD says, “Just one organism-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA-kills more Americans each year than the combined total of emphysema, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease, and homicide. The better news is that there are some promising new, non-pharmaceutical innovations that can help to reduce HAI rates significantly, innovations that don’t seem to carry the possibility of eventual antibiotic resistance. These innovations have been developed from research in several scientific fields, including nanotechnology, robotics, computer science, and biology.”
Xenex CEO Morris Miller says, “Xenex has provided an effective response to HAIs through the development of our germ-zapping robot, which disinfects rooms using pulsed xenon UV light to quickly destroy deadly pathogens. Xenex represents a significant advancement in UV disinfection technology, which has historically relied upon mercury bulbs requiring significantly greater exposure times to disinfect. Six peer-reviewed studies have been published supporting the efficacy of the Xenex technology, including three where Xenex customers reported significantly reduced HAI rates after implementing the Xenex robot for room disinfection. No other UV technology has peer-reviewed studies demonstrating the impact of the technology on actual patient infection rates. Furthermore, the Xenex germ-zapping robot is cost-effective and produces a significant ROI. We believe Congress has an opportunity to meaningfully improve the health of its veterans and citizens by promoting policies that accelerate the adoption of technologies that can effectively disinfect the hospital environment.”
Xenex offers a fast, safe and cost-effective method for the disinfection of healthcare facilities, such as patient rooms, ORs, and ICUs. Xenex’s 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 hospital’s environmental services staff can operate the Xenex device without disrupting hospital operations. The Xenex system will disinfect dozens of rooms per day, so hospitals use the robot continuously to reduce contamination levels throughout their facilities. Xenex robots, currently in use by more than 200 hospitals and VA facilities throughout the U.S., have been repeatedly proven effective against C.diff and MRSA in the laboratory and in patient outcome results. A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control in June 2014 reported that multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) infections decreased 20 percent among patients at Westchester Medical Center after adding pulsed xenon UV environmental disinfection to the hospital’s cleaning regimen. A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control (August 2013) reported that Cooley Dickinson Hospital (an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital) experienced a 53 percent decrease in the rate of hospital-acquired C.diff infections after implementing the Xenex system. A study published in Journal of Infection Prevention in 2013 reported that Cone Health experienced a 56 percent reduction in its rate of hospital acquired MRSA infections after implementing an infection prevention program that included Xenex’s room disinfection system.
A webcast of the hearing is available at http://science.edgeboss.net/wmedia/science/sst2014/RT062614.wvx.
Source: Xenex Disinfection Services