Riverside Staff Member Operates New UV Disinfectant Robot

UV disinfection machines at Riverside Regional Medical Center are used to clean hospital spaces and assist in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and other pathogens.

As part of its continued efforts to preserve the health, welfare and safety of the patients it serves and the team members providing lifesaving care to the community in the age of COVID-19, Riverside has acquired an additional ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation machine, located at Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News, infection prevention leadership announced this week.

Also known as UV light cleaning robots, these machines use a programmed pattern of pulsed UV light to sweep and clean 360-degrees of a room. They do not replace the work of Riverside team members, but rather provides an additional level of sanitation.

“Riverside, long before the COVID-19 crisis, has been committed to the safety of its patients, families and team members,” said Jim Pixler, Director of Environmental Services at Riverside Regional Medical Center. “The acquisition of this additional machine underscores that commitment.”

Riverside’s newest machine – a Solaris Lytbot – joins the Xenex Disinfection Services’ LightStrike™ pulsed xenon disinfection robots that have long been in use at Riverside Regional Medical Center, Pixler said.

Riverside Acquires Additional New Solaris Lytbot UV Disinfectant Robot

Both the Lytbot and the Xenex models have been shown by leading independent research institutes to kill, or deactivate, the COVID-19 virus on surfaces.

“COVID-19 caused the world to stop in its tracks,” said Dr. Mark Stibich, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Xenex. “Our robots have been adopted as the environmental standard of care by many of the world’s leading hospitals because they work — and they work very quickly.”

The way both machines work is Riverside team members roll the machines into a hospital room or space that is getting cleaned and disinfected. The team member leaves the room while the machine is in operation – pulsing its programmed series of UV light throughout the space for several minutes.

Team members leave the room because the UV light used by the robots is more intense than sunlight, which gives it the ability to quickly deactivate viruses, bacteria and spores where they are most vulnerable without damaging hospital materials or equipment.

Riverside's New UV Disinfectant Robot Cleans a Patient Room

Earlier this year, Riverside announced that, in an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers amid the nationwide shortage and supply chain disruption caused by COVID-19, the health system had begun using the machines to clean and reprocess N95 respirators. Riverside, following a proven process developed and tested by the University of Nebraska, implemented the reprocessing of N95s starting first with Riverside Regional Medical Center and then branching out to its other hospitals and ambulatory care centers and lifelong health facilities.

Published: July 22, 2020