The units, according to a May 15 press release, are designed to kill infection-causing pathogens, which adds another layer of protection in the hospital’s comprehensive infection-control plan in the fight against COVID-19.
It is the second charitable gift from the anonymous donor who previously pledged $1 million to the EvergreenHealth Foundation to be distributed over 10 years in support of its ongoing commitment to hand hygiene and patient safety. The first installment in 2019 funded the purchase of CleanSlateUV disinfecting machines for EvergreenHealth's Critical Care and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), where the hospital's most vulnerable patients receive life-saving treatment.
“We are grateful to this donor for their dedication to safety and quality, and are honored to receive such a generous contribution,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Jeff Tomlin, M.D. “This gift supports our ongoing commitment to providing the safest care to our community each and every day, and it will make a valuable impact for years to come.”
Tomlin said the mobile Optimum-UV Enlight System is used to ensure hard-to-reach areas following standard cleaning and disinfecting procedures are thoroughly treated with short-wavelength ultraviolet light, or UV-C, which eliminates dangerous pathogens in 20 minutes or less.
EvergreenHealth has been using UV-C machines since 2018 to sterilize patient rooms as part of its standard health and safety protocols. The donation of two additional machines, David Reed, manager of environmental services at EvergreenHealth, said offers increased capacity for sanitizing large surfaces throughout all hospital facilities, including public and staff restrooms, and waiting rooms and break areas.
The two new machines are also being used to sterilize providers' N95 masks to extend their lifespan and enhance the safety of all staff and visitors.
“In the one month since we’ve received the donated UV-C machines, we have run approximately 3,419 cycles, or 285 hours of use—the equivalent of disinfecting 1,140 patient rooms,” Reed said. “We have also sanitized 450 N95 masks.”
The CleanSlateUV is a compact machine that also uses UV-C light to sanitize handheld devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and badges. Staff and visitors can put their device inside the machine to activate a chemical-free, 20-second sanitizing cycle. The machine can be placed near hand-washing stations to allow users to practice hand hygiene before removing their disinfected device from the machine.
“Maintaining an environment of absolute safety is at the core of our care delivery model,” said Dr. Ettore Palazzo, EvergreenHealth’s chief medical and quality officer. “The generosity of this benefactor enables our health system to sustain our commitment to delivering the highest-quality care.”