Hospital robot will clean rooms with light

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A new germ fighting tool could keep people from getting sick.

It is prime cold and flu season and the new tool, a high tech robot, could not only protect against the viruses but many others far more deadly. It is literally a breakthrough with light. It's called a Xenex and it uses a UV light system to breakthrough bad germs. It can help wipe out bacteria and viruses.

Christ Hospital will be getting five of them delivered Wednesday, January 18; the largest number any hospital in Ohio will have. Deborah Hayes says it's one of the most powerful tools available for patient safety, shooting out ultraviolet beams of light at everything in it's path.

Hayes has a big job as chief operating officer in the hospital. She wants patients healed when they come through the doors, not harmed with infections they could potentially pick up.

"The CDC estimates that hospital acquired infections are the 9th leading cause of death," said Hayes.

The goal is not to have the Xenex replace many of the steps known to help fight infection, instead it is one more tool in the arsenal needed to fight some of the newer infections.

Mary Nicholson, infection control at the Christ Hospital, said, "We plan to use it for all patients with drug resistant like MRSA, all those terrible bugs you are hearing about and definitely for those c-difficile patient rooms."

The Xenex, lightstrike, germ zapping robot showing promise in reducing even the deadly strains of anthrax and Ebola on surfaces. While the goal is always to zap any or all infections in a hospital down to nothing, the team will now continue to track the numbers.

Each of the robots is about $100,000. But if officials cost-benefit those dollars, according to the company that makes the Xenex, their research shows if people prevent five patients from major infections they've likely recovered much of that cost.

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