Innovating to Keep You Safe: Robotic Disinfection of Patient Care Areas

Debra Powell, MD, Division Chief, Infectious Diseases & Medical Director, Infection Prevention, Tower Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for all of us. From wearing masks in public and working from home, to facilitating online learning and being apart from our loved ones, we’ve all been impacted by the virus in one way or another.

Its impact has forced many of us to develop new and innovative ways to get things done – and that’s true in the healthcare setting, too. Throughout the pandemic, Tower Health has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing the communities we serve with the high-quality care they deserve. We’ve embraced innovative means to continue caring for you in the safest way possible, and technology has played a big part in our ability to do this.

Beyond the rigorous cleaning and disinfecting processes that were established at the onset of the pandemic and continue today, Tower Health has taken disinfection one step further with the purchase of UVC Disinfection Robots for each of its seven hospitals.

The Finsen Technologies THOR UVC robot delivers a fast and effective germicidal dose of continuous wave UVC energy from floor to ceiling, killing germs and pathogens including COVID-19. As Tower Health began its gradual resumption of elective procedures in early June, these robots were deployed for the cleaning and disinfection of patient rooms and procedural areas, especially those used to care for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients.

 Tower Health hospitals are currently using the disinfection robots in the following areas:

  • COVID-19 patient units;
  • Emergency Departments;
  • Perioperative suites where a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patient has undergone surgery; and/or
  • Intensive Care Units, Progressive Care Units, and Transitional Care Units.

Just as sunlight can damage human skin, UVC light kills various pathogens by damaging their genetic structure and materials. The use of UV light enhances the rigorous cleaning processes we already have in place to further ensure our facilities are safe for patients, visitors, frontline caregivers, and all employees.

Since the initial deployment of the robots at each hospital, Tower Health’s flagship Reading Hospital has added two additional robots thanks to generous donations from the Reading Hospital Foundation and The Friends of Reading Hospital, its auxiliary group.

Bottom line: Our facilities are clean. Our facilities are safe. Our facilities are staffed with professionals who are taking all the necessary precautions to create a healing environment for our patients. Do not delay the care you need for fear of COVID-19. Tower Health is here for you and we are committed to preventing the spread of COVID-19, while also ensuring that we can continue to provide the critical clinical services on which our community depends.