Bacteria and other germs can be found everywhere – offices, schools, skilled nursing facilities and even hospitals. Despite efforts to disinfect, superbugs like MRSA and C.diff are resistant to chemicals and common cleaning practices. Superbugs are often antibiotic resistant as well.

Each year these drug-resistant bacteria infect more than 2 million people nationwide and kill at least 23,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That is why Jamestown Regional Medical Center invested in ways to enhance patient care and safety.

The hospital purchased a Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot. The Xenex LightStrike pulses environmentally friendly xenon ultraviolet (UV) light and destroys microscopic pathogens that may be lurking on hospital surfaces quickly.

JRMC invites children, adults and supporters to celebrate the arrival of R.O.S.I.E. (Robot Offering Safe Ideal Environment), its Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot on Thursday, May 17.

R.O.S.I.E. enhances environmental cleanliness by destroying hard-to-kill germs, bacteria and superbugs in hard-to-clean places. JRMC will use R.O.S.I.E. in its operating rooms and patient care areas to reduce the risk of healthcare associated infections.

“Everyone that comes into the hospital – patients, families, vendors or even staff – brings germs with them,” said Dane Grebel, JRMC Environmental Services Manager. “Some of these germs are resistant to even the best cleaning solutions and methods available. That is why JRMC invested in this technology. We want the best and safest place for our patients to receive care.”

To raise awareness for R.O.S.I.E, JRMC asked the public to participate in a Name The Robot contest. More than 200 children from Jamestown and rural schools submitted coloring pages and suggestions for names.

“Because of those students and because of the community’s help, JRMC raised enough money to purchase R.O.S.I.E.,” said Lisa Jackson, JRMC Foundation Director. “We’re grateful for the generous nature of the people in this region. They are a critical piece of the healthcare puzzle.”

R.O.S.I.E. can disinfect a typical patient or procedure room in 10-15 minutes. Operated by the hospital’s cleaning staff, R.O.S.I.E. can disinfect in any department or unit at JRMC. R.O.S.I.E. is a tool for the cleaning staff and does not replace any person.

Surgical site infections (SSIs) are rare, said JRMC Quality Manager Jenna Bredahl. Out of 1,571 procedures in 2017, only eight SSIs were reported at JRMC. That’s less than 1 percent. Nationwide, the average rate of SSIs is 2 to 5 percent.

Each SSI can cost the hospital between $15,000 and $50,000. A LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot costs about $100,000. By preventing just a couple of SSIs, R.O.S.I.E. pays for herself, Jackson said.

“One hospital-acquired infection is too many,” said K.C. DeBoer, JRMC President & CEO. “JRMC is a leader in medical technology, so it’s only fitting that we acquire this technological solution to care for our patients. They deserve the best.”

More than 400 healthcare facilities around the world use Xenex’s pulsed xenon UV robots. Numerous health care facilities credit Xenex for helping them reduce their infection rates significantly. Several hospitals have published their C.diff, MRSA and Surgical Site infection rate reduction studies in peer-reviewed journals.

To celebrate R.O.S.I.E.’s arrival, JRMC welcomes the community to an open house at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 17. JRMC and Xenex representatives will be on site to answer questions about the robot. Healthy snacks and refreshments will be available. The event is free and open to the public.