July 13, 2011
Many people don’t realize that you can actually get sick while in the hospital. Hospital-acquired infections are a significant problem in today’s healthcare facilities. In 2002, 1.7 million such infections either caused or contributed to almost 99,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Austin-based Xenex Healthcare Services has created a machine that hopes to significantly decrease those numbers and safely guard healthcare facilities from infections.
Xenex’s machine is the easiest and most effective way to disinfect a room at a hospital or any healthcare facility. It uses ultraviolet light to kill off the harmful organisms that contaminate rooms and often lead to an infection.
While using ultraviolet light to kill these organisms is not new technology, Xenex differentiates itself from others with its portability and speed of use. It can disinfect a patient room in less than 10 minutes, while most of its competitors’ technologies take up to 3 hours. With some healthcare facilities literally having lines down the hall full of patients waiting for a room, Xenex’s product really proves its worth.
In one test with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, “researchers found the device further reduced contamination even after a thorough room cleaning by the housekeeping staff.” Officials at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Mass., said they saw an 82 percent reduction in one infection, Clostridium difficile, since using the Xenex machine in January.
Xenex’s machine is currently in about two dozen hospitals around the country and that number is expected to grow significantly.
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