New research from Penn Medicine infection control specialists found that ultraviolet (UV) robots helped reduce the rates of transmission of the common bacterial infection known as Clostridium difficile among cancer inpatients – mostly blood cancer patients, a group more vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections – by 25%. The interventions also saved about $150,000 in annual direct medical costs.

“There weren’t a lot of studies showing the efficacy of UV lights to clean hospital rooms,” said Pegues, who co-authored a recent study that found a lack of evidence for best methods for cleaning hospital rooms. “These results help fill that gap. This is a cost-saving measure that showed a sizeable reduction in infections for a high-risk group of patients—and set the stage for further implementation of the technology at our hospitals.”

-Dr. David Pegues, Professor of Infectious Diseases, Penn Perelman School of Medicine and a Healthcare Epidemiologist in the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania’s InfectionPrevention and Control