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Top Benefits of Including UV Light as Part of Your Infection Control Strategies

From 2010-2013, eleven states reported 1500 outbreaks in assisted living facilities.  To prevent outbreaks, facilities must implement a variety of measures from hand hygiene practices and use of personal protective equipment to “appropriate environmental cleaning procedures.”  But how do you know what is appropriate? 

The germ-killing power of UV light, such as the Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) UV line from Violet Defense, provides numerous benefits to incorporating UV into your infection control strategies.

UV Light Can Kill Bacteria & Viruses

Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities from the CDC suggests that cleaning and disinfection schedules and methods vary based on area, type of surface to be cleaned, amount and type of soil present, and whether it’s a surface with frequent hand-contact.  While recommendations might limit how much attention is paid to certain types of areas, staff may have difficulty knowing “when a multi-drug resistant organism is likely to be in the environment.”

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Can you tell which of these bathrooms has E. coli?

Since you cannot visually determine if a space contains harmful pathogens, it is critical to take the proper steps to disinfect all areas to the best of your ability.  The benefit of UV disinfection systems is that they can kill all types of harmful germs - bacteria, mold, fungi, and viruses – and the light produced is uniform, it does not suffer from “missed spots” on a given surface.

UV Light Cleans Wherever the Light Touches

Facility policies, which outline the methods, thoroughness and frequency of cleaning used to disinfect a space, are driven by cost, product-surface compatibility, and ability to implement appropriate cleaning protocol in a space.  But what if you had a technology that could automatically begin cleaning a room anytime it’s unoccupied?  And even better, what if it could automatically kill harmful germs wherever the light touches? 

The S.A.G.E. line of products utilizes a broad spectrum of UV-C, UV-B, UV-A, and anti-bacterial violet blue light to optimize the germ-killing benefits of the light produced.  The light not only provides an additional layer of protection to your high-touch surfaces, but may also penetrate to areas that are difficult for, or completely missed by, normal manual cleaning.

Units using uv light Require Minimal to No Staff Training

Even if you do have well-established protocols and policies in place to disinfect your facility, how do you ensure your staff knows what to do (especially when there can be a high turnover rate in this industry - up to 38%), and how do you ensure that your staff actually follows your protocols and policies on a regular basis?  According to an analysis of Infection prevention and control standards in Assisted Living Facilities, only half of states regulations include required mandatory staff training on infection control. 

Furthermore, despite the best efforts of anyone charged with manually cleaning a facility, it can be easy to miss an area or not know the correct chemical or the product-surface compatibility for every inch of a facility.  Units, such as the S.A.G.E. UV Whole Room Unit can be installed into a space and require no staff training for operation – they will simply add a layer of protection every time they are activated either through autonomous control or pre-programmed cleaning cycles.

uv light May Reduce Reliance on Chemicals

Chemicals are one of the most common methods for disinfecting spaces.  However, many of the most effective chemicals, such as bleach, are harmful to humans and the environment.  Eco-friendly or less harmful chemical options are often less effective against bacteria, viruses or bacterial spores.  And this all assumes that the proper procedures are followed.

If you actually read the instructions closely, you will find that for full effectiveness, chemicals typically require surfaces to remain wet for anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes before being wiped down.  A practice that is unlikely followed on a consistent basis, leading to surfaces not being properly disinfected.  Removing organic matter and visible soils which may interfere with microbial inactivation should always be the first step in cleaning.  However, after that step, the use of chemicals could be reduced if you are actively disinfecting with UV light. 

Consider Incorporating uv light as An Additional Layer of Protection

While certainly not the only solution, incorporating UV as another tool in your infection control strategies is a great way to add another layer of protection and reduce the risk of an outbreak in your facility. Contact Violet Defense to find out how we can get your facility protected today. 

Jessica Jones