Should Automated Decontamination be Designed into new Hospitals?

Cleanroom Team Member In Mask

A post COVID 19 drive for innovation in new hospital design could see an increase in the use of Automated Room Disinfection (ARD) systems.

Various studies have identified that even successful rounds of serial manual cleaning do not always successfully remove pathogens. Findings included:

MRSA was identified in 66% of surfaces in patient rooms after terminal cleaning.

Across 36 hospitals less than 50% of high risk objects in rooms had even been cleaned.

MRSA was cultured from 27% of hospital rooms sample, even after four rounds of manual cleaning and bleach disinfection.

So, has the time come for more integration of ARDs?

Of the four commonly used types of ARD in healthcare, – Aerosolised Hydrogen Peroxide (dry mist), Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour (VHP), Ultra Violet C Light (UVC) and Pulsed Xenon UV (PX-UV) – VHP systems scored highest for efficacy in pathogen elimination and maintenance of a uniform concentration of hydrogen peroxide throughout the room.

Patients are 64% less likely to acquire a Multiple Drug Resistant Organism in rooms cleaned with VHP. VHP costs around £100 per patient, yet the cost of treating a Hospital Acquired Infection is around £3200. The maths alone speaks for itself.