How we’re keeping our hospitals clean

March 04, 2021 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

When it comes to killing viruses and germs, we’re on it.

Our robots are, too.

Edward Hospital has used Xenex machines — germ-zapping robots that kill the MERS virus as well as Clostridium difficile (C. diff), MRSA and other germs, by pulsing ultraviolet C (UVC) light — for years.

Recently, Edward upgraded to the newest Xenex model, Lightstrike, which can kill the COVID-19 virus in two minutes.

Xenex edward

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The Xenex robots have been shown in numerous published studies to dramatically reduce hospital infection rates, even C. diff, which is particularly hard to eliminate.  

The robots are used in conjunction with the normal cleaning routine, including wiping away all visible dirt/fluids, emptying trash and removing linens. Afterward, the robot is brought in to destroy the deadly germs that can't be seen.

No one can be in the room while the Xenex device is being operated because the bright light can irritate human eyes. It is safe to watch the device pulsing through a glass window. If someone does walk in, the robot has a motion sensor which immediately turns off the device.

The housekeeping team at Edward uses Xenex on 35 rooms per day (on average), and up to as many as 56 rooms per day.

At Elmhurst Hospital, powerful Altapure ultrasonic machines kill 100 percent of bacteria, viruses and spores using a mixture of substances that it sprays like a mist over all the surfaces in a room.

Altapure targets highly drug-resistant organisms, such as C. diff, that pose the most urgent threat and can survive on surfaces for weeks, as well as viruses, including COVID-19.

On average, 10 patient rooms a day receive an Altapure high-level disinfection. The system is also part of the routine disinfection process for patient care areas including the OR, Emergency Department, cardiac catheterization lab, endoscopy and Family Birthing Center.

Edward-Elmhurst Health is fully committed to reducing the risk of acquisition and transmission of healthcare-associated infections in patients, visitors, employees and physicians. We take numerous precautions to prevent the spread of infection at our hospitals.

When COVID-19 hit, we doubled down on our sanitation practices. All our facilities are deep-cleaned every day to include exam rooms, waiting areas and staff workstations. Patient rooms and bathrooms are thoroughly cleaned every day.

Don’t avoid getting critical care when you need it. Call 911 if the situation is life-threatening. Otherwise, head to the ER. Learn how we’re keeping you safe as we treat your emergencies.

At Edward-Elmhurst Health, your safety and well-being continue to remain our top priority. When you visit us, you will find consistent safety measures in place. Read our Safety Commitment.

For the latest updates on the COVID-19 vaccine, please check

Are you wondering whether to get the vaccine? Read our blog to learn more.

Edward-Elmhurst Health offers screening options for COVID-19, including a symptom checker to advise you on what to do next and a COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line (331-221-5199) to see if you meet testing requirements. We also offer Video Visits and E-Visits for COVID-19 symptoms.

The information in this article may change at any time due to the changing landscape of this pandemic. Read the latest on COVID-19.


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