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Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Clean at the speed of light

Crothall Healthcare has redefined “patient experience” in hospital settings, with processes that build value into health care activities while improving outcomes and generating more time for patient care. Jersey Shore University Medical Center (JSUMC), a 546-bed hospital and trauma center in the Meridian health family of health care, has partnered with Crothall to fight hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) with capital investment and improved procedures.

Surfacide® is an automatic disinfection system that uses shortwave ultraviolet (UV-C) light to destroy C.Diff, MRSA, and other drug-resistant pathogens. Improving on previous single-emitter designs, Surfacide® utilizes a triple-emitter array to eliminate “shadows” – surfaces UV light cannot reach – and cut disinfection time. Crothall acquired a Surfacide® unit for JSUMC in 2015, and a new manager decided to deploy the equipment to fight the medical intensive care unit’s few reported infections.

“The staff did hand-washing promotions and such, but the one big change starting in April was they used Surfacide® after every discharge,” said Chad Haraschak, Crothall Resident Regional Manager of Environmental Services for Meridian Health System. “In four months, we went from a handful of HAIs in the medical ICU to none at all. The results were so convincing that Meridian bought six sets for their five hospitals.”


Surfacide® is used in addition to Crothall’s proven ten steps to ensure a clean environment. Housekeepers included the treatment after every discharge in the medical ICU, and new protocols were added to better cooperate with clinical teams. “There are units at other hospitals in the region, though we may be the only system to make Surfacide® part of the daily routine.”

Patients with risky pathogens are identified by the Infection Control unit, who can request Surfacide® cleaning for specific rooms. Environmental Services were able to capture 96% of these requests. The trial Surfacide® unit was successfully deployed to prevent a norovirus outbreak after the infectious agent entered with a patient.


“Surfacide® and Crothall are great at Meridian; we’re all focused on results,” said Susan Hanrahan, Meridian Infection Control Manager at JSUMC. “We all learned together that the key is consistency, using the equipment properly and every day.” Hanrahan’s continuing study with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on HAIs at JSUMC is showing a statistically significant decrease throughout the ICU with Surfacide®.

Collaboration with other departments was essential to the process. “We have to be careful with anything that would add turnaround time, but everyone saw the success was worth it,” said Hanrahan. “Facilities Management saw fewer HAIs, nurse managers saw happier patients, and administration saw a worthy investment.”


The efficacy of Surfacide® was proven starting in August 2015, when the popularity of the equipment brought it to other units at JSUMC. The low rate of HAIs briefly returned to the medical ICU as rates dropped in other units, including cardiovascular care. HAIs dropped to zero again when Surfacide® was reinstated as part of the daily housekeeping routing in the medical ICU.

We lean on Surfacide® for everything: leaks, surges of communicable illness in the ER, anything of epidemiological importance,” said Hanrahan. “Something that destroys a pathogen’s DNA really sells itself and we feel more confident giving care."

For more information on JSUMC, click the link below.


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