Killing bacteria with light

June 28, 2017

When you think of killing viruses and bacteria on surfaces, you may think of using a spray and a paper towel to physically scrub away the bad particles. At Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend, a new air handler is taking cleaning to a new level, using ultraviolet light to kill viruses and bacteria.

The new unit controls the air quality for the hospital’s surgical unit, including operating rooms. The new unit was installed in early June, and it replaces the previous system that was installed in 1995 and nearing the end of its lifespan.

Installing the new unit proved to require a great deal of coordination, as the old unit had to be shut down before the new one could be installed. With the work being done on the roof, any potential helicopter services were slated to be rerouted to other hospitals, and local law enforcement and fire departments were notified that anyone who potentially could need surgery would have to be transported elsewhere.

It took a truck to haul in the new unit, and an 80-foot crane to install it on the roof, but the installation and transition went smoothly, with the new system coming to life just shy of two days later, returning the surgical unit to full functionality.

Advances in safety infrastructure can make a tremendous different in the quality of care for patients, making care safer and more efficient. Read more about the new unit in an article in The Peninsula Daily News. (Tim Pfarr)


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