Aerosol and liquid products are the most commonly used surface disinfectants, though a growing number of hospitals are implementing ultraviolet (UV) disinfection systems as an additional measure. According to the CDC, “The application of UV radiation in the healthcare environment (i.e., operating rooms, isolation rooms, and biologic safety cabinets) is limited to destruction of airborne organisms or inactivation of microorganisms on surfaces.” UV radiation inactivates microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids in bacteria and viruses. UV radiation has been shown to disinfect surfaces contaminated with viruses, bacteria and fungi, including superbugs such as MRSA, C. diff and CRE.
Ultraviolet disinfection systems are typically mobile units that can be moved from room to room and incorporated into a hospital’s cleaning and disinfection protocols. They are usually automated and run in 20 to 40-minute cycles.
The global market for ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection equipment was worth $790 million in 2010, according to BBC research. This market was estimated to be worth $885 million in 2011 and is expected to continue to grow to reach a value of $1.6 billion in 2016. UV disinfection equipment is most popular in the wastewater treatment market, though BBC Research expects popularity to continue to increase in the healthcare market.
Hospitals may be looking for other ways to prevent the spread of infection following the release of new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines on HAI reporting. In January 2012, CMS began requiring hospitals to report surgical site infections (SSI) and denied reimbursement for the added cost of SSIs beginning in January 2013.
Hospital-acquired condition (HAC) data is also now publicly available on the CMS website. The threats of added costs and increased public awareness have driven hospitals to dedicate more resources to infection prevention measures, such as multiple methods of room and surface disinfection between patients.
Last year, UltraViolet Device, Inc. (UVDI) introduced the V-360° UV Room Sanitizer to the healthcare sector. The V-360° UV Room Sanitizer generates high intensity UV energy and quickly disinfects surfaces.
“A number of leading hospitals have already implemented the use of UVDI’s V-360° UV Room Sanitizer due to its superior disinfection performance aimed at decreasing hospital–associated infections,” said Richard Hayes, President UVDI. “Lee Memorial Health Systems in Fort Meyers, Fla., recently conducted clinical trials that clearly demonstrated superior surface disinfection with the V-360 UV Room Sanitizer when compared to current common disinfectant cleaning protocols. UV light technology using ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, also known as UVGI, offers infection control professionals a powerful new tool in the fight against HAIs.”
The UV disinfection equipment maker Lumalier Corporation said in a recent press release that the company is experiencing unprecedented growth. “Sales of Tru-D, an automated, mobile air and surface disinfection device, have increased over 250 percent this year,” said Chuck Dunn, President and CEO of Lumalier.
“Tru-D is more thorough than manual cleaning protocols and is automated to eliminate human error. It reduces chemical usage and provides fast disinfection of surfaces and air in the hospital environment,” said Dunn. “Hospitals are able to reduce costs without reducing services and can turn over rooms more efficiently while insuring that new patients enter a clean and healthy environment.”