First hospital in Canada to be equipped with state-of-the-art, self-sanitizing technology

By Lisa van Kolfschoten

Five private inpatient rooms at the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) will soon be the first in Canada to be equipped with state-of-the-art, self-sanitizing technology, designed to mitigate infection rates.

Each of the five rooms will be equipped with the following: UVC lights, which sterilize the room by bathing it in UV light; copper infused wall panels and high-touch surfaces like bed rails, tables, door handles and push plates; and copper-infused shelving units in patient washrooms to further limit the growth and spread of microorganisms.

This is part of a renovation project which will see all inpatient rooms refurbished and updated, while all inpatient and public bathrooms will be outfitted with infection control technology, such as:

  • Ultra Violet type C (UVC) lights complete with motion sensors that will automatically bathe the room in micro-organism eliminating UV light when unoccupied.

  • Copper infused toilet seats – copper rapidly destroys bacteria, yeasts and viruses on surfaces, while remaining risk free to the human touch.

  • Smart sinks with motion sensor activation that ensures patients don’t have to touch handles or faucets.  The sinks produce ozonated water, which is four times more effective than bleach in breaking down and eliminating pathogens and bacteria.  The sinks are specially designed to prevent splash back, which spreads germs.  The sinks also produce ozonated water to automatically rinse the sink after every use and every 3 hours when not in use.

CGMH installed these smart sinks in the Emergency Room a few years ago when this area was renovated and the C-Difficile rate is now the lowest it’s been in six years.

“We are bringing the hospital up to the highest standard of infection control possible,” says Norah Holder, CGMH President and CEO. “This is a very exciting time that will greatly improve the patient and family experience. Upon completion, all CGMH inpatient rooms will be bright, well-maintained spaces, which incorporate state-of-the-art technology to keep patients safe from the bacteria that can cause Hospital acquired Infections. We are always looking for new and innovative ideas to make our aging facility work for us, and are very proud to be using this cutting edge technology in our hospital.”

In addition to the renovations, the hospital will acquire a pair of mobile sterilization units, which are portable, lightweight, remote-controlled UV light sets, which can be placed in any room and used to sterilize all surfaces, such as elevators and operating rooms.

Currently, environmental services (EVS) must undertake what’s called a “terminal clean” in a room where an isolated patient with a highly-contagious illness has stayed. This can take up to two and a half hours to complete. With the new technology, after EVS completes a manual clean to remove all bacteria from hard surfaces, the new UV light technology can then disinfect the room in 10 minutes, thereby cutting the cleaning time down by more than 50 per cent.

“CGMH will be the first hospital in Ontario to fully implement all of this technology and we hope to one day incorporate it in every patient room,” says John Widdis, Facilities Operations Manager, adding, “for now, these five will be the first of its kind.”

Lisa van Kolfschoten is a Communications officer at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.