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Legacy Meridian Park Auxiliary donated $40,000 toward the equipment

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Intelligent Room Sterilization uses ultraviolet lamps, which emit a high intensity UV-C field that destroys harmful bacteria.Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin has become the first hospital on the West Coast to use breakthrough technology that uses ultraviolet light to destroy harmful bacteria, such as MRSA and C. difficile, and prevent health care-associated infections.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every 20 hospital patients will contract a health care-associated infection and it’s estimated that more than 1.7 million infections occur annually in the United States.

Armed with numbers like these, Peter Mersereau, director of surgical services at Meridian Park, began exploring options for protecting patients from hard-to-kill bacteria. He found IRiS — Intelligent Room Sterilization — which uses ultraviolet lamps. The lamps emit a high intensity UV-C field that destroys harmful bacteria on direct and indirect surfaces by penetrating and damaging the DNA of microorganisms.

“We have always done the best job humanly possible to reduce the risk of infection to our patients, but human disinfection techniques are only so effective,” said Mersereau. “IRiS has demonstrated the ability to reach areas where manual cleaning cannot and further reduce the chance that a patient will contract an HAI (infection) while at Legacy Meridian Park.”

The hospital was assisted in purchasing IRiS through a donation of $40,000 from the Legacy Meridian Park Auxiliary. The system is now at work in the 150-bed hospital. Meridian Park’s operating rooms and procedure suites are sanitized every day, as well as each critical care and patient room upon discharge prior to a new patient occupying the room.

“Our hospital takes pride in having high patient safety,” said Allyson Anderson, Meridian Park chief administrative officer. “We are taking our commitment to patient and staff safety to another level.”

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