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 the BETR-D randomized clinical trial, results showed that enhancedterminal room disinfection strategies using Tru-D decreased the relative risk of colonization and infection of target MDROs among patients admitted to the same room by a cumulative 30 percent in a hospital setting with 93 percent compliance of standard disinfection protocols. Individual hospital results may vary.
“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.