Victoria Loconte Looks Back on Everett Hospital Xenex System Study

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Emergency room staff nurse Victoria LoConte reveals her interest in past findings surrounding pulsed xenon ultraviolet light disinfection in hospital settings.

A study previously conducted at Cambridge Health Alliance’s Everett Hospital demonstrated that pulsed xenon ultraviolet light disinfection was capable of significantly reducing operating room contamination of both surfaces and air. Today an emergency room staff nurse at the same facility, Victoria LoConte looks back on the study’s findings and her own research paper delving into the implementation of such systems as part of her training.

CHA Everett Hospital is a 162-bed hospital in Everett, Massachusetts, and one of three hospitals which together form Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate. The study, presented during an Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology annual meeting, demonstrated that Xenex Healthcare Services’ disinfection system reduced surface contamination by 81 percent, and air contamination by 46 percent. “The study also showed that between-case contamination continued to rise with standard cleaning, but was reduced to almost zero when the device was used,” reveals Victoria LoConte.

“I found the 2013 study to be extremely interesting,” explains the emergency room staff nurse, “and completed a research paper on the implementation of Xenex disinfection systems in emergency room settings as part of my own studies.”

According to the product’s makers, each year in the United States, approximately the same number of people lose their lives as a result of healthcare-associated infections as do from breast cancer, AIDS, and auto accidents combined. “As antimicrobial resistance increases, such infections will likely become even more life-threatening and costly to address,” suggests LoConte, “which is why advances in disinfection system technology are so important.”

As the market leader in environmental disinfection, Xenex Healthcare Services has today helped more than 400 hospitals in America to achieve healthcare-associated infection rate reductions, according to the company.

LoConte’s paper, a change proposal titled ‘Xenex Utilization in the ER,’ determined that considerable substantiating evidence was present to indicate the effectiveness of the Xenex device in preventing the spread of infection by eliminating contagions. “Utilization in the emergency room was identified as a challenge, however, due to knowledge deficits and patient flow,” she adds.

Her proposal, she says, was aimed at improving these issues and ultimately reducing, in particular, rates of Clostridium difficile infection.

Victoria’s work covered organization, improvement opportunity, purpose, proposal initiative, leadership, proposal care support, value-based support, data evidence, strategies, strategy defense, change theory, change assessment, quality outcomes, communication, data flow, and more.

“In essence, I found,” she adds, wrapping up, “that while strong leadership was required at all steps to ensure success, sustainability, and quality assurance, the Xenex device was, in fact, proven highly effective in preventing the spread of infection via the successful elimination of contagions.”

Victoria LoConte is an emergency room staff nurse at CHA Everett Hospital in Everett, Massachusetts. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing, obtained from the Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing with Regis College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to her current position, LoConte has also worked as an urgent care facility nurse manager, a case manager, and as a skilled visiting nurse serving the Greater Boston area. Her experience includes adult, geriatric, and pediatric care.