UVC Disinfection: Promising Technology or a Gimmick?
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the focus on cleanliness, particularly in health care. This includes an increased interest in technology such as UVC disinfection. A recent article1 reviewed the benefits and limitations of UVC disinfection and its use in health care.
It is well known that approximately 50% of surfaces are missed during manual disinfection2 leading to the need for additional layers of disinfection to ensure completely clean surfaces. By adding UVC technology to standard disinfection practices, variables related to human error in the cleaning process are reduced. The Tru-D device goes a step further and has been designed to also account for variability in hospital room size and setup, compensating for shadowed areas as well as the amount and location of furniture and equipment in the space. The ability of the Tru-D device to eliminate organisms in shadowed areas has been validated by a number of independent peer-reviewed studies3-5.
There is some concern that adding UVC disinfection will increase the turnaround time for patient rooms. However, with a well-planned program, there is minimal impact to the amount of time needed to thoroughly disinfect a room. In fact, studies have shown that adding UVC disinfection to standard disinfection practices only increased turnaround time by as little as four minutes.
UVC devices, such as Tru-D, preserve resources in other ways as well. The Tru-D disinfection system operates from a single position without the need for frequent involvement or movement to multiple placements from staff. While the Tru-D device is in operation, staff can focus on other tasks rather than waiting to adjust or move the device every few minutes. This prevents the need to hire additional staff to implement a UVC program, which is especially critical right now as resources are so short.
Researchers have found that UVC disinfection devices are already a useful tool in health care, and they complement manual disinfection practices. In a recent article, “Ultraviolet disinfection robots to improve hospital cleaning: Real promise or just a gimmick?,” the authors determined that with further research and development, UVC disinfection has even more potential for enhanced surface cleaning in health care. Utilizing the Tru-D technology eliminates some of the concerns with other UVC devices such as the need for increased time or staff involvement and the inability to disinfect shadowed areas.
- Diab-El Schahawi M, Zingg W, Vos M, et al. Ultraviolet disinfection robots to improve hospital cleaning: Real promise or just a gimmick? Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2021;10(1):33.
- Dancer SJ. Importance of the environment in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus acquisition: the case for hospital cleaning. Lancet Infect Dis. 2008;8:101–113.
- Nottingham M, Peterson G, Doern C, et al. Ultraviolet-C light as a means of disinfecting anesthesia workstations. Am J Infect Control. 2017;45(9):1011-1013.
- Rutala WA, Gergen MF, Weber DJ. Room decontamination with UV radiation. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010;31(10):1025-1029.
- Rutala WA, Kanamori H, Gergen MF, Sickbert-Bennett EE, Weber DJ. Inactivation of Candida Auris and Candida albicans by ultraviolet-C [published online ahead of print, 2021 May 21]. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2021;1-3