Oak Park Surgery Center has been helping the Central Coast stay active since 2002. Patients come to Oak Park Surgery Center from throughout Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties for its down-home feel, and the surgical expertise Oak Park offers. With their motto excellence in care Oak Park added advanced UVC disinfection methods to its state-of-the-art facilities' surgical suites.
Katja Auer, Clinical Director for American Ultraviolet, had the opportunity to interview Simone Mueller, Administrator and Nurse Director at Oak Park Surgery Center about her experience using the UVC Fixed Mount disinfection system on a daily basis.
Katja: For how long have you been using the fixed mount UVC package?
Simone: The OR Package was installed in 2010 and has been in use for over 10 years.
Katja: What made you decide to purchase from American Ultraviolet? Did you come from a place that uses UVC disinfection?
Simone: The UVC was already installed before I began working at Oak Park Surgery. My prior background was in acute care settings only, where I never had any exposure to UVC disinfection products. When first starting at Oak Park Surgery, I was very intrigued and it really made me proud to learn that Oak Park uses such advanced disinfection technology as part of its infection prevention methods to keep patients safe.
Katja: Is the UVC used during surgeries, or mostly for in-between case cleaning or terminal cleaning?
Simone: We use the UVC as part of our first prep process in the morning. Before the first procedure we wipe down the surfaces; then apply UVC for 15 minutes to be sure the surgical suites have been perfectly prepared for the first patient. We use the UVC during total joint cases – right before the incision and once the closure is complete – then turn it off. It is standard practice for us to use UVC as the last part of the terminal clean. In fact, we also use it in our podiatry department when patients have fungus on their toes – cleaning after plus using UVC disinfection of the entire room helps ensure the cleanliness and keeping the surgical environment clean.
Katja: How convenient do you find the disinfection cycle?
Simone: Very easy to use, and incredibly convenient.
Katja: How easy has it been to train staff on the UVC disinfection system?
Simone: Very simple and generally within 10-15 minutes of required training.
Katja: We just launched our online training portal with specific training to the OR Fixed Mount Package a few months ago. It is a thorough video focused on how UVC works, safety, proper PPE, and how to maintain and operate the OR Fixed Mount Package. After viewing the training video, the viewer can become certified. This will help save you time on training.
Simone: That is great to know.
Katja: How did you overcome safety concerns from staff?
Simone: We make sure that we provide correct education and do in-service hands-on training. This includes how to use proper PPE, and how to operate the system.
Katja: Have you considered other UVC disinfection methods for your facility? For example, UVC upper air for waiting room areas for continuous air disinfection of occupied spaces.
Simone: No, we have not considered it, but we are interested to learn more.
Katja: How did you approach re-opening your facility while still dealing with the pandemic? What additional cleaning methods did you introduce?
Simone: We decided to space out cases with one patient at a time (no high volume), and incorporated all CDC guidelines, plus UVC disinfection.
Katja: What is your biggest piece of advice for a surgical facility when considering UVC as an adjunct cleaning technology?
Simone: The most important part for us was staff education, and integrating the UVC system into our process flow for best results.
Katja: If you could make any changes to your current UVC fixed-mount system, what would it be?
Simone: We would upgrade to the fully automated system.
Katja: Have you noticed a change in infection rates when the UVC fixed-mount system is in use in regards to surgical site infections? What are your infection rates?
Simone: The system was installed more ten years ago, when I did not work for Oak Park Surgery, so I do not know the immediate impact the system had at the time; however, Oak Park has had very low rates, and always adjusts various processes when an issue arises, so it is hard to say how much UVC as an adjunct to the regular cleaning immediately impacts lowering rates. It is a daily part of our cleaning routine, and we use it as often as feasible in-between, during surgeries, and as part of terminal cleaning.
Katja: Simone, thank you so much for your time today. You provide great insight into your UVC system use, which I am sure will be helpful for others considering this type of system.
Simone: It has been my pleasure to share this information, and I can only highly recommend to my colleagues to consider a fixed UVC system.
None of the American Ultraviolet UVC products detailed above are certified, or approved under any applicable laws, as a medical device, and as such, American Ultraviolet, and its Representatives and Distributors, do not currently intend for them to be used as medical devices anywhere globally. Products have not been evaluated by the FDA.