Hospitals adopt STERIS room sterilization technology to fight HAIs

October 24, 2007 — /PRNewswire/ — MENTOR, OH — STERIS Corporation announced today it has received the first orders for its VaproSure(TM) Room Sterilizer from several U.S. hospitals. The VaproSure Room Sterilizer incorporates STERIS patented technologies and is the first product of its kind for the healthcare market. Since being introduced in June of this year, systems have been ordered by Wellmont Health System (Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky) Lake Hospital System (Ohio), and the VA Boston Healthcare System (Massachusetts). These hospitals are demonstrating leadership in patient safety and infection control and will use their VaproSure Room Sterilizers to sterilize all the exposed surfaces in critical hospital rooms.

As highlighted in recent national news media reports, the persistent spread of germs and infections in health care facilities is a significant challenge for patient safety and compromises the ability for hospitals to deliver economically efficient health care services. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that one in every 20 patients in the U.S. contracts an infection while in the hospital, resulting in 99,000 deaths each year with costs to the U.S. health care industry estimated at $30 billion per year.

Earlier this month, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published study results indicating that drug-resistant staph (MRSA) is killing more people in the United States each year than the AIDS virus.

Commenting on JAMA’s findings in The Washington Post, Scott K. Fridkin, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, says, “This is a significant public health problem. We should be very worried.”

Modern hospitals are the highest expression of life-saving skill and yet these environments can harbor unseen threats that compromise health, life, and institutional integrity. Despite the best efforts of the environmental services department, traditional cleaning practices are limited in their effectiveness. With the VaproSure Room Sterilizer, it is now possible to sterilize all of the exposed pre-cleaned surfaces within a sealed room. STERIS is the only company to offer a complete hygiene solution to hospitals as a way to enhance their infection control programs and improve the efficiency of their operations.

The VaproSure Room Sterilizer utilizes Vaprox(R) Sterilant (EPA Registration No. 58779-4) to create a dry sterilization vapor that inactivates the full spectrum of biological contaminates on dry, pre-cleaned, exposed, porous and non-porous surfaces within a sealed hospital room. The chemistry is recognized as sporicidal, bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal. Additionally, the technology is environmentally friendly, reducing to water vapor and oxygen at the conclusion of the cycle.

Wellmont Hospital System
“We became the first health system in the nation to purchase STERIS VaproSure Room Sterilizers for our hospitals because we believe this technology is a breakthrough advancement for patient safety and infection control,” says Dr. Richard Salluzzo, president and CEO of Wellmont Health System and the founder of the national Safest Hospital Alliance. “As a founding member of the Safest Hospital Alliance, Wellmont is committed to utilizing processes, programs and technologies that bring about real, measurable improvement in patient safety. The VaproSure technology will dramatically enhance our existing infection prevention programs by eliminating biological threats that exist on the many surfaces within a hospital environment. This purchase is another example of our overarching commitment to achieve complete patient safety in our hospitals.”

Lake Hospital System
Lake Hospital System is the first community-based health care system to purchase VaproSure Room Sterilizers. “Community-based hospitals are the backbone of the U.S. health care infrastructure,” states Cynthia Moore-Hardy, president and CEO of Lake Hospital System. “The World Health Organization states that with over two billion passengers flying each year an outbreak in any part of the world is only a few hours from becoming an imminent threat somewhere else. That could be our community and we want to be prepared. At Lake Hospital System, infectious disease prevention is one of most important things we can do to safeguard the health of our patients, employees, and community. The ability to sterilize all of the exposed surfaces in rooms where vulnerable patients receive care is a significant step forward in the ongoing battle against infections at their source.”

The ER One Institute and Washington Hospital Center
“The ER One Institute trialed the VaproSure Room Sterilizer within days of STERIS expanding the registration for Vaprox and the VaproSure Room Sterilizer enabling the first use of the technology in health care settings,” says Dr. Mark Smith, chairman of Emergency Medicine at Washington Hospital Center and professor of Emergency Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. “We were so impressed with its ability to sterilize all of the exposed surfaces within a hospital room that we designed our new emergency room expansion with integrated VaproSure Room Sterilizer capabilities. The expanded ER will be operational by year’s end and will include the ability to sterilize individual ER rooms with the VaproSure Room Sterilizer. I believe that the VaproSure Room Sterilizer can be one of the key components of a comprehensive program for infection control. As germs become more sophisticated, so does our need for technology to address them. I am personally tremendously excited by the possibilities of this new approach to eliminating contamination in hospitals.”

About Wellmont Health System
Wellmont Health System is a premier provider of healthcare services for Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Southeast Kentucky. Comprised of 13 owned and affiliated not-for-profit hospitals, Wellmont delivers top-quality, comprehensive health care and wellness services across the Tri-State region. Wellmont hospitals are founding members of the Safest Hospital Alliance, a national organization created to define and achieve safety in the healthcare setting.

About Lake Hospital System
For six consecutive years NorthCoast 99 has named Lake Hospital System one of the 99 Best Places to work in Northeast Ohio. In 2006, HealthGrades also named Lake Hospital System among the top five percent of all hospitals in the nation. A leader in community-based health care in Northeast Ohio, Lake Hospital System provides high-quality, accessible health services for all stages of life. Lake Hospital System delivers progressive, compassionate health care through eight state-of-the-art facilities staffed by more than 500 physicians and 2,600 health care professionals.

About Washington Hospital Center
Washington Hospital Center is one of the 25 largest hospitals in the United States and is the busiest emergency department in Washington, DC. Washington Hospital Center was also one of the few hospitals in the country that was a major emergency receiving hospital for Pentagon victims on 9/11 and one month later experienced firsthand the frightening effect of the Anthrax attacks of 2001.

The mission of STERIS Corporation is to provide a healthier today and safer tomorrow through knowledgeable people and innovative infection prevention, decontamination and health science technologies, products and services. The company’s more than 5,000 dedicated employees around the world work together to supply a broad array of solutions by offering a combination of equipment, consumables, and services to health care, pharmaceutical, industrial and government customers. For more information, visit

Source: STERIS Corporation


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