Meet Tru-D: she’s smart, slick and a slayer!
Don’t let her good looks fool you.
Tru-D — or “Trudi” as staff affectionately think of her — is a ruthless killer. She may stand less than 1.65 meters tall (that’s 5’5” for the rest of us), but she’s smart and single-minded. Her mission: eradicate bacteria and other pathogens.
Over the next six weeks we’re employing Tru-D at VGH to learn how well this machine on wheels can help us disinfect surfaces with ultraviolet (UV) light.
A first in Canada
“VGH is the first hospital in Canada working with a Tru-D machine,” says Dr. Liz Bryce, regional medical director, infection control. “While UV light has been used to disinfect the air in health care facilities and laboratories for years, new literature demonstrates that UV light is also highly effective disinfecting surfaces in patient rooms following housekeeping.”
Tru-D is operated remotely to deliver just the right does of UV light to prevent the transmission of Clostridium difficile (CDI), MRSA, VRE and — yes — norovirus and influenza.
“So far this is shaping up to be a worse than average season for norovirus and influenza,” says Liz. “Fortunately, we have Tru-D to help us contain the outbreaks.”
A safe and environmentally sound approach
Aramark staff are trained to operate Tru-D, which performs in stealth silence. It’s perfectly safe to watch her at work through a window; the UV light isn’t harmful when viewed through glass. To prevent people from walking in on TRU-D while she’s working, barriers are placed outside the door. If the door opens, a sensor alerts Tru-D and she shuts down automatically to prevent unprotected exposure to her ultraviolet light.
If you’re in the vicinity of Tru-D working , you’ll also notice a distinct smell. “It’s the smell of ozonated air — clean air disinfected without harsh chemicals. It’s evidence that TRU-D is hard at work,” explains Liz.
Because TRU-D uses UV light, she could also help us reduce the use of cleaning chemicals, which is better for the environment, patients and staff.
During the pilot we’ll use Tru-D to disinfect VGH patient rooms, the ORs at night and, periodically, the bronchoscopy and endoscopy suites.
A second UV light disinfectant machine will be piloted for comparison. Watch VCH News for updates in the future.