Implementation of innovative pulsed xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) environmental cleaning in an acute care hospital
Lori Fornwalt,1 Brad Riddell1,2
1Departments of Infection Prevention and Environmental Services, Trinity Medical Centre, Birmingham, AL, 2Environmental Services, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that the hospital environment is an important reservoir for many of the pathogenic microbes associated with health care-associated infections (HAIs). Environmental cleaning plays an important role in the prevention and containment of HAIs, in patient safety, and the overall experience of health care facilities. New technologies, such as pulsed xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) light systems are an innovative development for enhanced cleaning and decontamination of hospital environments. A portable PX-UV disinfection device delivers pulsed UV light to destroy microbial pathogens and spores, and can be used in conjunction with manual environmental cleaning. In addition, this technology facilitates thorough disinfection of hospital rooms in 10–15 minutes. The current study was conducted to evaluate whether the introduction of the PX-UV device had a positive impact on patient satisfaction. Satisfaction was measured using the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. In 2011, prior to the introduction of the PX-UV system, patient HCAHPS scores for cleanliness averaged 75.75%. In the first full quarter after enhanced cleaning of the facility was introduced, this improved to 83%. Overall scores for the hospital rose from 76% (first quarter, 2011) to 87.6% (fourth quarter, 2012). As a result of this improvement, the hospital received 1% of at-risk reimbursement from the inpatient prospective payment system as well as additional funding. Cleanliness of the hospital environment is one of the questions included in the HCAHPS survey and one measure of patient satisfaction. After the introduction of the PX-UV system, the score for cleanliness and the overall rating of the hospital rose from below the fiftieth to the ninety-ninth percentile. This improvement in the patient experience was associated with financial benefits to the hospital.
Keywords: HAIs, PX-UV, environmental cleaning, patient satisfaction