Tru-D Used to Kill Microorganisms at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Germ-killing robots are being enlisted to further safeguard Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) patients from health care-associated infections.
The robots will be deployed in selected inpatient areas, starting this month with the burn unit at Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital.
After a patient is discharged and routine room decontamination with liquid disinfectants is complete, a robot will be wheeled in to flood the room with ultraviolet radiation (UV) in amounts sufficient to kill microorganisms that may linger on surfaces, including drug-resistant organisms like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on any given day in the United States about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one health care-associated infection.
In a large randomized trial sponsored by the CDC, the robots were shown to reduce common health care-associated infections by 30 percent.
“We’re starting in the burn unit because that’s a very vulnerable population and we never want those patients to have trouble with infections,” said Thomas Talbot III, M.D., MPH, professor of Medicine and Vanderbilt’s chief hospital epidemiologist.
Vanderbilt has purchased two of the robots, manufactured by Memphis, Tennessee-based Tru-D SmartUVC. The second robot will be assigned to a unit early next year, to be selected based on population data from Vanderbilt’s clinical lab.