Environmental Services (EVS) Supervisor Belawn McGowan is one of more than 100 members of Anne Arundel Medical Center’s (AAMC) EVS team who keeps the health system safe to care for patients. The team uses a ‘secret weapon’ of sorts to achieve this every day: Tru-D SmartUVC, a germ-killing robot.
Out of 300 hospitals in the U.S., AAMC ranked number one for usage of the Tru-D room disinfection robot. AAMC received the first place spot for completing the most sterilization cycles in May with only one robot.
Tru-D uses Ultraviolet (UV) rays to disinfect patient rooms, the Emergency Department and the Intensive Care Unit at AAMC. It ensures patient safety by reducing the risk of health care-associated infections.
“When you enter a hospital you expect everything to be clean, neat and tidy,” Belawn said. “We are the frontline team who ensures this is done right. We use the Tru-D robot as an extra tool to make sure everything is cleaned well in the hospital.”
How it works
At AAMC, Tru-D goes by a different name. Staff call the robot “CRIS,” which stands for Clean Rooms Improved Safety. The cleaning process is twofold: once the EVS team cleans and disinfects a room, CRIS disinfects the room a final time. The robot uses UV light to kill bacteria, spores and viruses. The cleaning process takes between 15 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the room. This added layer of disinfection helps the EVS team ensure a safe patient environment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“CRIS helps us do our jobs efficiently,” Belawn explained. “There are spores and other germs that can stay on surfaces for long periods of time. There are also cracks and crevices that we can’t get to. We use CRIS to make sure surfaces are germ-free and hard-to-reach areas are sanitized.”
No one can be in the room when CRIS is in operation. The robot’s UV rays can be harmful to humans. CRIS sends a text or audio message to a member of the EVS team when the disinfection cycle is done.
Belawn said the EVS team’s goal is to make sure that patients feel safe every time they enter the hospital for care.
“Achieving this ranking was a team effort,” she said. “We keep CRIS running to make sure everything is clean and sanitized at AAMC at all times.”