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Robots, UV light pivotal to UPMC hospital sterilization

UPMC’s Environmental Services staff has been increasingly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic by paying close attention to making sure rooms are clean and safe for patients, even implementing additional protocols like the use of TRU-D, an automated cleaning robot in Williamsport and Wellsboro, according to Dan Neagu, Environmental Services director.

Environmental Services provides all housekeeping services and is in charge of making sure the patient rooms are clean.

“Especially now with COVID cases, we want to be sure that we offer extra caution and touch,” Neagu said.

“We want to make sure that everyone is in a clean environment,” Brenda Lee, housekeeping supervisor, said.

“We are on those front lines. Our staff is very important,” she added. “We want to make sure they are going home as safe as they are coming into work.”

Staff go in and use a solution to clean all high-touch areas in the room — then it’s TRU-D’s time to shine.

This robot uses ultraviolet light that can get into small corners and crevices to clean the space and kill bacteria, Neagu said.

Each space is also then inspected by Environmental Services staff with a blue light to make sure no spots were missed before patients are brought into the rooms.

All of these cleaning operations are done exactly the same at all UPMC facilities, according to Neagu.

“That is very important,” he said. “We take pride in our work. If our families come to our facility, we want them to be comfortable. It is important to us to make sure everyone is safe.”

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