The Xenex LightStrike Germ-zapping robot, at right in the foreground, starts to extend its 'neck' in preparation for a five-minute cycle of pulsed UV-C light that will help kill bacteria that lingers in the room. The robot is one additional safeguard now used to protect patients at Chambersburg Hospital.
Monday, June 5, 2017

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – They’re new to the Chambersburg Hospital environmental services team and they’re serious about killing germs.

They’re Xenex LightStrike™ Germ-zapping robots and don’t let their sleek, unassuming exteriors fool you. With the touch of just a few buttons, they extend their “necks” to reveal pulsed UV-C rays that in a matter of minutes kill the bacteria that lurks in their paths.

The hospital purchased the robots in May and has incorporated them as the final step of the cleaning process followed by environmental services staff.

“Our environmental services team already did a very thorough job cleaning patient rooms,” said Director of Epidemiology and Infection Prevention Dr. Ericka Kalp. “The addition of the Xenex robots to our standard cleaning protocol is just one more safeguard to ensure we protect our patients.”

They currently are used in the Med-Surg and Critical Care units of the hospital, areas that commonly take care of the sickest patients.

How they work

The robots use pulsed xenon to create UV-C light, which is more intense than sunlight and can disinfect a patient room in just five to 10 minutes without chemicals.

The UV-C light from the robots cannot penetrate through glass, plastic, clothing, or the top layer of skin, yet the intense light emitted has germicidal properties and has been proven to kill germs that cause infections such as MRSA and C. difficile. C. difficile is especially difficult to remove since C. difficile spores can live on surfaces four to six months.

“We’re excited to have the robots and use them as one additional safeguard in protecting our patients and keeping them healthy,” said Kalp.

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.