Netcare Pholoso Hospital deploys germ-eradicating robots in the fight against germs

Hi-tech robots achieve impressive results internationally and in Netcare hospitals

Tuesday, March 24 2020

The ultra modern Netcare Pholoso Hospital in Polokwane is the latest facility in the Netcare Group to deploy ultraviolet disinfection robots, which effectively destroy viruses, bacteria and fungal spores within the hospital environment.

“Introducing this new disinfection technology in Netcare Pholoso Hospital is a significant step forward and keeps our facility abreast of the latest advances in the global fight against the spread of germs and microbe resistance in healthcare facilities,” says Fabion Bennett, general manager of Netcare Pholoso Hospital.

“The hospital recently took delivery of two Yanex Pulsed-Xenon ultraviolet (UV) robots. In light of the advent of the so-called ‘super-bugs’ in recent years, as well as the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa in recent weeks, we are delighted to have these robots at our hospital, as this serves to further strengthen our infection prevention and control measures,” adds Bennett.

PIC: The Yanex Pulsed-Xenon UV robots deployed in Netcare hospitals use high doses of UV light to destroy viruses, bacteria and fungal spores and disinfect hospital wards, theatres and other spaces within minutes.

“Nursing staff members as well as cleaning staff have attended training sessions in the effective and safe use of the robots which are fully operational at the hospital.”

Commenting on the development, Dr Caroline Maslo, senior clinical advisor at Netcare, noted that healthcare facilities the world over face a daily challenge to prevent the spread of infections and have increasing concerns about antibiotic resistance.

“Netcare therefore opted to utilise robots that seek and destroy germs within minutes. This latest, high-tech infection prevention and control technology has shown impressive results internationally as well as within Netcare’s hospitals, so much so that these highly advanced robots, which are being used to further bolster our comprehensive existing disinfection measures, are being used in Netcare hospitals countrywide.”

According to Pharmateknique, marketers of the Yanex disinfection device in South Africa, the system has the ability to destroy 99,90% of germs on high-touch surfaces and 99.99% of airborne germs.

In a first for South Africa, Netcare deployed disinfection UV robots in a number of its hospitals towards the end of 2017. Since then they have become an established line of defence against bacteria, viruses and fungi at healthcare facilities.

“Having used the robots in different settings in Netcare facilities, we have found that the results lived up to the impressive results achieved in independent international studies that endorse this method of disinfection,” observes Dr Maslo.

“What we found particularly impressive is the fact that the pulsed high-intensity xenon ultraviolet [UV] light used by the robot is not only highly effective in destroying viruses, bacteria and fungal spores, but is also able to achieve thorough disinfection far more quickly than the other methods we have traditionally used. Rigorous disinfection in an area such as a room can be done in just over a minute. This means minimal disruption to busy hospital areas, and the robots can be used 24 hours a day.”

“It is our aim to disinfect every hospital room after it has been cleaned so that every person admitted to a Netcare facility such as Netcare Pholoso Hospital can be confident that their room has been thoroughly disinfected as well,” adds Dr Maslo.

 “The technology has the added benefit that it is non-toxic. It is environmentally friendly in that it requires no water during operation, thus rendering it optimally water-wise when compared with other forms of intensive disinfection, and it uses minimal electricity.”
Another important benefit is that the robots’ UV light does not result in any residue or potentially harmful by-products, which means it is safe for use in even the most sensitive environments, such as neonatal intensive care units where premature and other compromised babies are cared for.

Each robot deployed in Netcare facilities is connected to the Cloud and they generate full reports on all of its activities, which are stored on the Cloud. Relevant hospital and Netcare stakeholders are able to monitor the activities of each robot in real-time and access full reports at any time.

“The Yanex robots have proved themselves highly effective and efficient, and this form of disinfection is particularly useful against antibiotic resistant bacteria, commonly referred to as ‘superbugs’ and effectively destroys viruses such as COVID-19. This new technology does not replace the infection risk management protocols and procedures we already have in place, but is used alongside them as an additional, powerful weapon in our arsenal against potentially harmful germs,” concludes Bennett.

To find out more about the services offered through Netcare hospitals and other of the Group’s facilities, please contact Netcare’s customer service centre either by email at [email protected] or phone 0860 NETCARE (0860 638 2273). Note that the centre operates Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:00.

For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.

Issued by:         MNA on behalf of Netcare Pholoso Hospital
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]