Why You Should Thank Your Environmental Service Staffer

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This week is Environmental Services Week, also known as International Housekeeping Appreciation Week. The workers who toil daily at keeping our healthcare environment clean are a critical part of how hospitals try to keep their patients safe. With 24-hour, 365-day responsibilities, the Environmental Service (EVS) Workers have a very hard, often physically demanding job.

It’s hard to convey how much affection and admiration we at Xenex have for EVS staff. They are almost always the staff who get to know our Germ-Zapping Robots closest, and we think they are rock stars.

The combined creative genius of Hollywood and Harvard research scientists has given us a fascinating, and perhaps a bit frightening, visual of why these staff members are some of our favorite people.

These researchers set out to demonstrate how quickly a bacteria could develop resistance to antibiotics. The researchers divided a huge, 2-foot by 4-foot petri dish into 9 vertical sections, with no antibiotic on the outermost sections, and increasing concentrations of antibiotics towards the center. At the center, 1000X as much antibiotic was embedded. Imagine a reverse football field, where the goal posts are at the center. Then, E. coli that was not resistant to the antibiotic was introduced along those antibiotic-free outer sections. To summarize the video, the E. coli developed resistance to antibiotics very quickly.

The Evolution of Bacteria on a “Mega-Plate” Petri Dish from Harvard Medical School on Vimeo.

This took 11 days. Imagine how long this might take on a hospital surface. It would take longer, of course. Now, realize that any E. coli can persist on hospital surfaces for up to 16 months! It’s undeniable that cleaning of our healthcare facilities is a vital part of infection prevention efforts.

Please consider sending your environmental services staffers a personal message: “Thank you for protecting me.”



Even with our best efforts, it’s impossible to remove every pathogen from hospital surfaces. Xenex’s LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™ can kill antibiotic resistant bacteria with Full Spectrum™ UV before they infect patients, and are supporting EVS teams across the nation as a final step in their disinfection protocolClinical, peer-reviewed evidence demonstrates that Xenex, as part of an overal cleaning and disinfection program, can reduce rates of HAIs.


Credit xenexadmin