“It’s kind of like a double disinfectant for us. It really helps the housekeeping staff cover more square footage in less time.”
It looks like something out of a science fiction movie — a 6-foot tall lightsaber on wheels that emits a deadly glow to invisible enemies. But it’s not fighting the Galactic Empire.
The UVDI-360 is a health care lifesaver, using ultraviolet radiation to destroy more than 30 high-risk microorganisms, including the coronavirus.
The Lufkin State Supported Living Center Environmental Services staff have used this $55,000 deep cleaning machine at the facility since 2014. Thanks to a large donation from the Lufkin Host Lions Club and additional funds from the Volunteer Services Council, the facility now has two of them.
“If you place it in a room and run a cycle, it disinfects any surface the light touches,” said Amy Thompson, director of Environmental Services. “It’s kind of
like a double disinfectant for us. It really helps the housekeeping staff cover more square footage in less time.”
In the past, staff had to transport the expensive machine across campus to wherever it was needed. “We had to guard it with our lives,” Thompson joked. With two, they can clean two areas at the same time and limit how far they have to move either machine.
Data from Lufkin SSLC’s Infection Control has shown that transmissible infections have dropped since the facility started using a UVDI-360. During their deep cleaning, Environmental Services staff first wipe down all surfaces with proper cleaning solutions. Then they use the machine to complete the sanitizing process. The light kills germs on medical equipment, personal items, door handles, light switches — everything nonporous that it shines on.
“It’s been a blessing for us,” Thompson said. “It’s really helped us tremendously.”
The second UVDI-360 also allows staff to disinfect resident homes more frequently, focusing on homes that serve residents who require more acute care.
“We have all spent the last 18 months fighting a disease that no human eye could see,” said Lynn Hopper, community relations director. “The facility is very thankful to members of the Lufkin Host Lions Club and the Volunteer Services Council for their efforts to support the people served at Lufkin SSLC.”