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Ultraviolet light technology at UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital an extra line of defense against infectious disease – including COVID-19

May 29, 2020

Highlands Ranch, Colo. (May 29, 2020) – While the numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across the state of Colorado continue to decrease, UCHealth’s commitments to personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and enhanced sterilization and cleaning methods that exceed national standards remain strong, said Chris Olson, Program Manager of Infection Prevention and Emergency Preparedness at UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital.

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“It’s super important that we continue to maintain our social distancing, to wash our hands, to be conscious of where we are going, what we’re doing, who we’re hanging out with, what are we touching,” Olson said. “All of those things are going to be super important because if we see a secondary wave, we could just totally push right back to where we were before.”

Patients with COVID-19 are cared for in separate, dedicated units, and UCHealth’s infection prevention processes protect patients and visitors as well as providers and staff. One of the more innovative tools in use at UCHealth Highlands Ranch Hospital is ultraviolet (UV) light technology.

“One of the things … we’re really excited about is ever since we’ve opened, we’ve had UV lights. We’ve got this great UV light technology. UV can kill pretty much any bacteria, fungus, spores, virus that’s left in the room including COVID-19. It’s one of these great tools that we use when we discharge patients who were in isolation,” Olson said. “We clean the room like we always would, we wipe everything down … and then we roll in these UV lights. The UV lights are this extra layer of protection to know that we’ve done a great job of cleaning that room and getting it ready for the next patient so that they don’t have to worry about who’s been there before them.”

The hospital is marking its one-year anniversary of opening on June 18. “I would argue to a point that it’s probably the cleanest and the most handwashing we’ve ever seen in health care across the world right now,” Olson said.

In addition to utilizing the UV light technology, UCHealth’s Environmental Services teams have years of experience in cleaning and disinfecting hospitals, clinics and patient rooms, and they have dealt with many kinds of illnesses. Of note:

  • Equipment used for patient care is being cleaned or sterilized according to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • Patient, employee and public areas within UCHealth facilities are cleaned according to CDC guidelines.
  • Special air filtration systems that circulate the air and remove small particles, including viruses, are used throughout UCHealth facilities.

“We’re here for you, we want to be here for you, we’ve got a great team of doctors and nurses, and EVS staff and everybody across the line is all here,” Olson said. “We want to be here for you and we want to take care of you.”

Online check-in through My Health Connection is available to patients for early check-in. This reduces wait times and the number of people in waiting areas. UCHealth is limiting the number of patients being seen and will get you into a patient room as quickly as possible. Waiting rooms have chairs placed at least 6 feet apart, and physical distancing is encouraged in all areas.

We encourage patients to keep using UCHealth’s Virtual Urgent Care and Virtual Visits services to interact with providers by video. Patients should call their clinic or visit the UCHealth website to set up an appointment.

Paula Freund

Manager, Public Relations

O 720.848.5809

C 317.985.1194

P 303.266.2608 (24-hour media pager)

www.uchealth.org