Healthcare associated infections (HAI) affect approximately 1 of every 25 hospitalized patients, lead to substantial morbidity and mortality, degrade patient experience and are costly. Risks for HAI are multifactorial and it is known that microbial contamination of the healthcare environment increases risk for HAI. Portable ultraviolet-C (UVC) surface disinfection as an adjunct to standard hospital disinfection has been shown to decrease both surface microbial contamination and HAI. However, there remain significant gaps in the understanding of the efficient and effective application of UVC in healthcare. Specific barriers identified are: 1) the variability in size, shape, and surface materials of hospital rooms as well as the presence of medical devices and furniture, which impacts the amount of UVC energy delivered to surfaces and its disinfection efficiency; 2) the significant resources needed to acquire and efficiently use UVC equipment and achieve the desired patient benefits- a particular challenge for complex healthcare facilities with limited operating margins; and 3) the lack of implementation guidance and industry standard methods for measuring the UVC output and antimicrobial effects from the multiple commercial UVC options available. An improved understanding of the efficient and effective use of UVC surface disinfection in healthcare and the implementation of standard device industry metrics may lead to increased use and decrease the burden of HAI.
Richard A. Martinello, Shelly L. Miller, M. Patricia Fabian, and Jordan Peccia, "Identification of barriers and research opportunities to improve the effective and efficient application of adjunct UVC surface disinfection in healthcare," Proc. SPIE 10479, Light-Based Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, 104791B (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2018; Published: 8 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2291091.
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