Category Archives: Healthcare Technology

UV-C Disinfecting Takes Its Place At Thompson Hospital and the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center in New York State

 

UV Disinfecting

Accomplished by using  short-wave
ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light as a germicidal to destroy viruses, bacteria and other pathogens that can linger on surfaces and hide in shadows.

One piece of equipmnet can disinfect an average-sized patient room in about 8 minutes and is deployed after a room is sanitized with standard techniques and cleaning products.

In  Canandaigua, New York  a nearly 6 foot tall and wielding 20 vertical fluorescent bulbs, the R-D Rapid Disinfector robot is a formidable fighter in the war against germs.

This UV disinfecting robot is The R-D Rapid Disinfector — developed by a Rochester, New York  firm, Steriliz LLC, and is manufactured locally.

Thompson Hospital and the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center have begun using this automated disinfecting machine throughout the institutions to help reduce the risks of illness and infections for patients, residents, visitors and staff.

The Disinfector uses short-wave ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light as a germicidal to destroy viruses, bacteria and other pathogens that can linger on surfaces and hide in shadows. This machine can disinfect an average-sized patient room in about 8 minutes and is deployed after a room is sanitized with standard techniques. It is remotely controlled by an associate from Environmental Services.

The UV-C light fills the entire room, reaching and disinfecting areas that human hands might miss. No one is allowed inside the room when the lights are working. This no-touch cleaning system gets rid of some of the most dangerous and difficult-to-destroy bacteria, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Disinfectants work on the surface of non-living objects by destroying the cell wall of harmful microbes or interfering with their metabolism.

“This technology, added on to normal, regular, manual environmental cleaning, gives me a sense of ease that we are doing all we can to keep our environment clean and our patients safe,” said Thompson Health Director of Infection Prevention Michelle Vignari. “We are just now starting to see published literature supporting that the addition of UV-C technology in hospitals actually does correlate with a reduction of healthcare-acquired infections.”

This state-of-the-art robot monitors the entire disinfection process. Wireless sensors measure, record and report on UV-C light dosages delivered to specific areas in real time. The machine can be paused and repositioned to maximize efficiency, including targeting shadowed areas. The Disinfector shuts off automatically once the sensors indicate that enough UV-C light has been emitted to kill the germs.

“In a day of delivering high-reliability care, I felt very strongly that we needed a technology that we could measure and evaluate its performance,” Vignari said.

Hospital staff like the Disinfector too.

“It is pretty simple to use and seems to be working great,” said Stephanie Fowler of Environmental Services, who activates the robot after a room is cleaned with traditional methods.

The R-D Rapid Disinfector was developed by a Rochester firm, Steriliz LLC, and is manufactured locally. The Disinfector uniquely provides FDA-patented wireless sensors to measure the amount of UV-C light delivered to an area and real-time online data access and reports. Since being tried in four Rochester hospitals in 2011, several hundred of these Disinfectors are now being used in hospitals, care homes, disaster centers and government installations worldwide.

Steriliz is recognized as a world leader in UV-C disinfection.

“Improving the health and safety of patients is a blessed opportunity,” said CEO and President Sam Trapani. “The potential market for the company’s product is large and we are experiencing a high growth curve.”

To read the article in its entirety please click on the link below:

http://www.mpnnow.com/news/20170318/robot-destroys-germs-with-power-of-light

Member of St. Joseph Hoag Health Network – Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, CA Adds a UV Disinfection Robot To Protect Against the Spread of Infections

6th Graders Receive Up Close and Personal Education with a Light-Pulsing, Disinfecting Robot

Sharing and Educating

Opening eyes of the young with disinfecting

technology being utilized to combat “superbugs.”

 

The only robot in the Verdugo region that zaps away unwanted bacteria and viruses from hospital rooms arrived at USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital two weeks ago.

The Xenex robot emits a pulsating, bright white UV-C light — which is a short, wavelength, ultraviolet light that can save lives. Once surfaces are exposed to the robot’s rays, harmful bacteria and viruses die, greatly reducing the odds patients will be infected with hospital-acquired infections, including those caused by superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA.

USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital employees joined Xenex employees at Fremont Elementary School, where they showcased the $100,000 machine in teacher Mallory Kane’s sixth-grade classroom, the same place where Keith Hobbs, chief executive of Verdugo Hills Hospital, was a sixth-grader in 1979. “There’s no other place that I would rather be than to come back to my alma mater and share this R2D2, bug-zapping machine with you guys,” Hobbs said.

The Xenex robot pulses UV-C light 67 times per second, and hospital staff take precautions when they operate it because the light can harm their eyes.

“This is not any light bulb in your house,” said Mary Virgallito, director of patient safety for the hospital. “It’s actually filled with a gas called xenon.”

Virgallito said hospital employees manually clean rooms before they activate Xenex. It takes the robot about 15 minutes to clean a patient’s room, and 20 minutes to disinfect an operating room.Hobbs said mothers ask if they can borrow the robot to disinfect their own homes, and Kane suggested it would be helpful in the classroom. Over the past several weeks, many of her students missed school because they were sick.

Jeff Mamalakis, business development manager for Xenex, volunteered to disinfect Kane’s room when school let out. The space would be left with a scent as if lightning had just struck, Virgallito said.  The impromptu high-tech, germ-cleansing session was a dream come true for Kane.

“In sixth grade, the curriculum moves so quickly that even missing one day puts kids so far behind,” Kane said. “Having our classroom disinfected every day would be a dream come true. My kids would be here, everyone would be happy, no one would have to miss school.”

To Read the article in its entirety please click on the following link:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/uhc-most-xenex-germ-zapping-144500378.html;_ylt=A0LEV18lQNBY2KgA6FZXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzMXBobHNmBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVUkwMkM0XzEEc2VjA3Nj

Coders and Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) Specialists Find Changes Regarding Coding Superbug Infections Dynamic As the Pathogens Themselves

A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control determined that one of these superbugs, clostridium difficile (c. diff) contributed to an increase in hospital costs of approximately 40 percent per case, or an average of $7,286.

For coders and clinical documentation improvement (CDI) specialists, the nuances and changes regarding coding superbug infections remain as dynamic as the pathogens themselves.

Medication resistance, and especially antibiotic resistance, can be a challenging issue in the coding world.

The bacteria in question include:

enterococcus
staphylococcus
klebsiella
acinetobacter
pseudomonas
enterobacter

In this article, we will examine a few of the recent coding guideline changes related to superbug infections, resistance, and new guidelines when infections are acquired in the hospital.

A Growing Cost Concern

The nuances of coding the superbugs can have a significant impact on revenue streams – especially if these infections are contracted during a hospital stay.

A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control determined that one of these superbugs, clostridium difficile (c. diff) contributed to an increase in hospital costs of approximately 40 percent per case, or an average of $7,286.

Costs were even higher for patients contracting renal impairment ($8,942), immunocompromised status ($8,692), and concomitant antibiotic exposure ($8,545).

Given the high cost of these cases and risk factors for contamination, ensuring correct identification, coding, and nationwide tracking of superbug infections is critical.

New Zika Codes and C-diff, MRSA Codes

A quick look at the Zika virus illustrates just one example of how superbugs can be rapidly introduced to the coding scene. Unknown to U.S. coders only one year ago, the

ICD-10 code set now contains Zika codes.  Zika will come in as a CC and impact reimbursement for healthcare providers.

A92 Other mosquito-borne viral fever
A92.5 Zika virus disease
Zika virus fever
Zika virus infection
Zika NOS

Also, effective Oct. 1, 2016, the 2017 updates include codes for c. diff and MRSA as hospital-acquired infections (HACs).

The addition of c. diff and MRSA to the HAC list marks a big potential impact for providers. Hospital-acquired infections are particularly difficult to treat, manage, and code.

Superbugs Common for Immunocompromised Patients

Most patients who contract superbugs are already immunocompromised due to cancer, long-term medication protocols, extended inpatient admissions, or other factors.

A common scenario involves patients who undergo surgical procedures and then develop MRSA infections. These painful infections quickly spread to other organs and body systems, requiring progressively stronger narcotics.

Also, since the immune systems of these patients are already compromised due to surgery and the underlying condition, superbugs build powerful resistance to medications, and such cases often become increasingly harder and more costly to treat. The progression of infection in these cases must be carefully noted and coded to ensure proper reimbursement.

Coding Medication Resistance

Coders should assign all available ICD-10 codes to reflect medication resistance. There are ICD-10 codes for resistance to 22 different types of medications, including codes for resistance to multiple medications, which might certainly be applicable in the scenario described above. This is a new change in 2016, so it’s important that coders are aware of it.

Reporting these resistant infections corrections is crucial for statistical purposes, and for tracking the superbugs across the U.S.

While the codes for medication resistance don’t impact the DRG, they are usually high-dollar cases with long lengths of stays. Resistance codes are Z codes.

Here are three coding steps to take:

  • Identify the infection/type of bacteria.
  • Assign a Z code to describe the resistance (e.g. resistance to antimicrobial drugs – Z16.10-Z16.39).
  • If the patient has been on a lot of antibiotics, this should also be coded.

Supporting documentation for coders to review includes all culture reports, physician progress notes, medication administration records, and any other ancillary testing used to identify resistance. Today, coders must rely on physician documentation to code a medication resistance. Since resistance codes do not impact the DRG, a coding query is not applicable.

However, we expect future guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to open the door for CDI and coding queries for cases in which resistance occurs, but is not documented by the physician.

More on MRSA

Because MRSA is so resistant to treatment, there are most certainly added precautions and costs with MRSA patients. For MRSA to be coded as an active infection and HAC, it would have to be proven that the patient contracted MRSA while in the hospital, leading to a CC. Hospital-acquired versus present-on-admission is a very important distinction in MRSA cases.

However, MRSA should also be picked up by the coder if the patient is a carrier. Carrier status is usually designated by a note in the chart. Z codes should be used for:

  • Carrier status (Z22.32 – Carrier or suspected carrier of methicillin-resistant staphlyococcus aureas)
  • Colonization status
  • Personal history

MRSA is the only one of the organisms that has a specific code that identifies both the bacteria and the antibiotic it’s resistant to (B95.62—MRSA infections as the cause of diseases classified elsewhere).

Superbugs Hit Outpatients Too

Outpatients are not immune to superbugs, and this is an area where coders need some heightened awareness. For example, a patient may enter through the emergency department (ED) for a urinary tract infection and be prescribed a standard antimicrobial. However, following the ED visit, the urinary culture may test positive for E. coli. The physician must be notified and a stronger antibiotic prescribed for the patient.

These scenarios present unique challenges for coders, as the microbiology culture is usually posted a few days later, after the case has been coded. Coders can’t code the bacteria unless the ED physician goes back and makes an addendum to ED report or progress note – which is not common practice and only happens in a few cases.

A Final Word

For inpatients with hospital-acquired superbug infections, no matter how they may have been contracted, the hospital’s costs for treatment of the infections are not payable under CMS guidelines.

Therefore, it’s important that physicians, CDI specialists, and coders go the extra mile to identify, document, treat, and code these infections as early as possible.

 

To read this article in its entirety – click on the link below:

http://www.icd10monitor.com/enews/item/1709-coding-the-superbugs-keeping-up-with-change

C. difficile Infection (CDI) Prevention, Treatment, Environmental Safety, Research, Clinical Trials Being Discussed with World Topic Experts On September 20th In Atlanta, Georgia USA

Cdiff2015BallroomPic

September 20th

It is with great pride and certainty in the power of the healthcare community to present the 4th Annual International Raising. C. diff. Awareness Conference and Health Expo

being hosted at the

DoubleTree by Hilton — Atlanta Airport 
3400 Norman Berry Drive
Atlanta,Georgia 30344 USA  (Hotel Phone: 1-404-763-1600)

Doors open at 7:15 a.m — Sign In and Continental Breakfast

Conference begins at: 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

TAtlantaPic

Raising C. difficile awareness is essential to build upon and advance existing knowledge and necessary for overcoming the challenges our healthcare communities are faced with today.

“None of us can do this alone — All of us can do this together”

Nearly half a million Americans suffered from Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) infections in a single year according to a study released February 25, 2015 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   C. diff. is a leading cause of infectious disease death worldwide; 29,000 died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis in the USA.   Previous studies indicate that C. diff. has become the most common microbial cause of healthcare-associated infections found in U.S. hospitals driving up costs to $4.8 billion each year in excess health care costs in acute care facilities alone.

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Cdiff2015-1Clinical professionals gather for one day to present up-to-date data to expand on the existing knowledge and raise awareness of the urgency focused on a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) —

    • Prevention
    • Treatments
    • Research
    • Environmental Safety
    • Clinical trials and studies

WITH

  • Microbiome research, studies
  • Infection Prevention
  • Fecal Microbiota Restoration and Transplants for Adults & Pediatrics
  • A Panel Of C. diff. Infection Survivors
  • Antibiotic Stewardship
  • Healthcare EXPO
    ……………………and much more.

You won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to learn from
International topic experts delivering data directed at evidence-based
prevention, treatments, and environmental safety in the C. diff.
and healthcare community.

Gain insights on September 20th that will not be available anywhere else with an opportunity to receive up-to-date data on major topics in this program being presented in one day.

5 Leading reasons to attend this dynamic conference:

  • Learn from leading healthcare professionals, clinicians, researchers, and industry.
  • Networking opportunities with new and reconnect with those in the healthcare community with similar interests.
  • Gain breakthrough results through research in progress and gaining positive results. Programs focused on Antibiotic-resistance such as the  Antibiotic Stewardship making a difference. Front line developments in progress focused on C. diff. infection prevention, treatments, environmental safety.
  • Implement and share the knowledge well after the conference ends.  Every attendee receives a booklet with guest speakers information, media to review audio programs, and Health Expo Sponsor information focused on the important agenda topics.
  • Embrace the opportunity, with all of the topic experts presenting, and hold the conference in the highest priority from the participation in this conference to an audience of medical students, and fellow healthcare professionals, who will benefit the most from the data and gain tools to overcome the barriers facing healthcare each day.

“The information and up-to-date studies shared at the 2015 conference added to an existing knowledge base that helps us to continue delivering quality care in the medical community.”   Linda Davis, RN,BSN

 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

REGISTRATION FEES:

$75.00  —  Conference Registration

$30.00  —  Student Conference Registration (Student ID To Be Presented At the Door)

TO REGISTER Click on the “Raising C. diff. Awareness” Ribbon below

CDiffAwarenessRibbon2015

Room accommodations are available —  Complete and Confirm 

by August 19th to reserve your hotel reservations.   

To create a reservation please click on the DoubleTree By Hilton Logo below – – – – – –

DoubleTreeLogo

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

 A suggested travel coordinator, for your convenience

LibertyTraveldownloadMichael Beckman — Team Leader,  Liberty Travel, 467 Washington Street, Boston, MA  02111
617-936-2435
Michael.Beckman@flightcenter.com

 For Additional Information visit the C Diff Foundation Website:

https://cdifffoundation.org/

https://cdifffoundation.org/

And Click on the 2016 September Conference Tab

 

Follow us on Twitter
@cdiffFoundation
#Cdiff2016

Cdiff Spores and More With Dr. Mark Stibich Discuss Healthcare-associated Infections Being Successfully Eliminated By Xenex Germ Zapping Robots, UV Disinfection Services

 

Listen To The May 17th, 2016 PodCast

cdiffRadioLogoMarch2015
To access the live broadcast and Podcast Library
C. diff. Spores and More  Global Broadcasting Network
please click on the logo above *

C. diff. Spores and More,” Global Broadcasting Network – innovative and educational interactive healthcare talk radio program discusses

This episode——

“Xenex Germ Zapping Robots, UV Disinfection Services”

With Our Guest:       Dr. Mark Stibich, PhD

Join us as guest, and co-founder of Xenex, Dr. Mark Stibich Epidemiologist and Chief Scientific Officer, discusses UV Disinfection with Xenex UV Disinfecting Systems and Germ Zapping Robots making a clean sweep across the globe zapping ‪‎C.diff‬. and all harmful germs that can cause pain, suffering, and double digits in the already stressed healthcare industry.

 

MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST:

Dr Mark Stibich, a co-founder of Xenex, Mark oversees scientific research, new technology development, and protocol design. An epidemiologist who has published many scientific papers about Pulsed Xenon technology, Mark is also an inventor on multiple patents. Originally from Dayton, OH, Mark graduated from Yale and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, where he earned a Masters in Health Science and PhD.  Mark’s interest in public health has taken him to many distant countries. He served as a Peace Corps health volunteer and then trained Peace Corps health volunteers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He has conducted research in Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, South Africa, Kenya, the U. S., and Brazil. In addition, he has received grants for and directed HIV/AIDS research and intervention projects throughout Russia and has been a consultant with the USAID project.

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C. diff. Spores and More ™“ Global Broadcasting Network spotlights world renowned topic experts, research scientists, healthcare professionals, organization representatives,C. diff. survivors, board members, and their volunteers who are all creating positive changes in the
C. diff.
community and more.

Through their interviews, the C Diff Foundation mission will connect, educate, and empower many worldwide.

Questions received through the show page portal will be reviewed and addressed  by the show’s Medical Correspondent, Dr. Fred Zar, MD, FACP,  Dr. Fred Zar is a Professor of Clinical Medicine, Vice HeZarPhotoWebsiteTop (2)ad for Education in the Department of Medicine, and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Over the last two decades he has been a pioneer in the study of the treatment of
Clostridium difficile disease and the need to stratify patients by disease severity.

To access the C. diff. Spores and More program page and library, please click on the following link:    www.voiceamerica.com/show/2441/c-diff-spores-and-more

Take our show on the go…………..download a mobile app today

http://www.voiceamerica.com/company/mobileapps

Programming for C. diff. Spores and More ™  is made possible through our official  Sponsor;  Clorox Healthcare

CloroxHealthcare_72

 

Seal Shield LLC, A Healthcare Technology Company, Introduces SKY™ To Their Family Of UVC Sanitizers, Designed To Kill Bacteria and Viruses On Hard To Clean Consumer Electronics

sealshieldlogo

 

 

Seal Shield LLC (Jacksonville, FL), today will demonstrate the SKY™ family of UV Sanitizers at the CES- Consumer Electronics Show, Sands Booth #73213. 

The SKY™ UVC sanitizers use high intensity, 254 nanometer UVC light, at close proximity of less than 60 thousandths of an inch, to thoroughly disinfect a tablet or smart phone and achieve up to a 6 log reduction in pathogens such as MRSE, VRE, MDR-gram negative, Norovirus and C.diff..

The SKY™ is the world’s first UV Sanitizer to kill more than 99.95% of pathogens in less than 30 seconds. Designed for use in hospitals to protect patients and practitioners from dangerous cross contamination infections, the Sky is also the perfect solution for mobile retailers and IT / MIS professionals who service and support mobile devices of unknown or dubious origins.

Tablet computers and smart phones have been proven to harbor harmful bacteria and viruses. A study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology warns that “twenty to thirty percent of viruses can be readily transferred from a fingertip to a glass surface, like that on a touch screen.”

“Mobile device hygiene is imperative in today’s pathogen rich environments. SKY™ was designed to be easy to use, and it can safely disinfect virtually any mobile device in under 30 seconds,” states Seal Shield CEO, Brad Whitchurch.

The SKY™ UVC sanitizers use high intensity, 254 nanometer UVC light, at close proximity of less than 60 thousandths of an inch, to thoroughly disinfect a tablet or smart phone and achieve up to a 6 log reduction in pathogens such as MRSE, VRE, MDR-gram negative, Norovirus and C.diff..

The Seal Shield SKY™ is currently available in 2 models.

The SKY™ 6Xi features a horizontal orientation, ideal for desktop applications.

The SKY™ 7Xi features vertical orientation and can be wall mounted or placed on a mobile cart.

The SKY™ sanitizers are the latest additions to Seal Shield’s family of UV infection prevention devices which include the ElectroClave™ and MoonBean™ UV sanitizers.

Seal Shield is a world leader in infection control technology. Seal Shield designs, develops and manufactures medical grade, infection prevention technology for hospitals and the home including UV sanitizers, air purification systems, antimicrobial products, waterproof keyboards, mice and TV remote controls.

 

For more information please visit http://www.SealShield.com/

 

To read article in its entirety:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-sanitizers-for-smart-phones-and-tablets-can-reduce-the-spread-of-super-bugs-in-under-30-seconds-300199923.html?tc=eml_cleartime&utm_source=NetSuite+Contacts&utm_campaign=f41fd750a2-SKY%2FCES16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e25719ba34-f41fd750a2-102891281