MVHS Reduces Infections by 39-Percent

By Ana Rivera | arivera@wutr.tv

Published 02/18 2015 06:11PM

Updated 02/18 2015 06:14PM

As we've reported, Faxton-St. Luke's and St. Elizabeth hospitals scored below average in an evaluation of patient safety--ratings that docked their Medicare funding by 1-percent for the year.  Now the two hospitals - joined under one name--the Mohawk Valley Health System--are making strides to change those ratings.

In January the Center for Medicare Services cited both Faxton-St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth's hospitals as 2 of the 724 hospitals nationwide that had high rates of hospital acquired conditions--leading to a reduction of their Medicare funding by 1 percent.  But the Mohawk Valley Health System is well on their way to changing those ratings.

"We had some relatively high rates back in 2012 so we've been working diligently to try and reduce those in the past two years," says Heather Bernard, MVHS Director of Infection Prevention.

MVHS focused specifically on C-Deficile rates--a bowel disease that can ultimately lead to death.  And the problem:  it's a tough bacterium to kill even with extensive room cleaning.  That's where new equipment came into the picture:  a Surfacide UV-C infection killer.

"That one we are able to put in the room at different locations to try to hit as many surfaces as possible," Bernard says.

But how does it work?

“I have three towers.  Ideally this is so you don't have any shadows.  You're going to cover this side of the bed with this tower, this tower will cover the insides of both of those beds and my third tower will cover the other side of that bed,” says David Bartels, supervisor.

Set the parameters of the room and exit so the machines can go to work--using UV-C light to kill all the bacteria.

"This was just one more thing that we could add to our tool box and try to reduce the infection rates," Bernard says.

Faxton-St. Luke's has their own machine as does St. E's.  The Mohawk Valley Health System has the only hospitals in our area that have this type of infection-killing technology.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.