July 9, 2015

Saint John’s Health Center has installed a state-of-the-art disinfection system, becoming one of the first hospitals on the West Coast to adopt the new technology. Surfacide, an automatic UV-C room disinfection system, was purchased with a $120,000 gift to the hospital from Saint John’s Health Center Foundation.

“This is exciting because it’s at the forefront in technology for cleaning and disinfecting,” says Angela Vassallo, the infection prevention director at Saint John’s. “We’re using it as a supplement to cleaning. We put these machines in areas after housekeeping does the initial cleaning. These machines go the extra mile to kill germs and organisms.”

In recent years, public health officials nationwide have called for new, stricter measures to reduce transmission rates of hospital-acquired infections, including so-called “superbugs” that resist antibiotic treatment. Surfacide eradicates multidrug-resistant organisms—even the Ebola virus. The equipment is used nightly in every surgical suite, every operating room and in isolation rooms. Operating rooms can now be sanitized in 30 minutes or less.

“Beyond measure it’s the best of the best out there,” says Eddie Paez, director of environmental, lift and transportation at the Health Center. “Saint John’s is among the first hospitals on the West Coast to have this. We are Ebola-ready.”

Angela credits John M. Robertson, MD, chair of the board of trustees and the longest-running member of the hospital’s infection prevention committee, as well as the Foundation for seeing the value in the technology.

“We’re so lucky and blessed at Saint John’s to have people at all levels who care about patients and each other,” Angela says. “It’s about patients, staff and visitors. When the Foundation and trustees believe there is something necessary to make the hospital even better, they invest in it.”

To support cutting edge technology at Saint John’s, please contact the Foundation at 310-829-8424.

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