A Study in UV-C Success & Building a SHIELD of Long-Term Care

Among the most vulnerable citizens in the U.S. and worldwide, our senior population was the hardest hit group during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the CDC and other organizations, seniors aged 65 and older account for nearly 75% of COVID-19 deaths thus far. This staggering statistic has caused many care centers to reevaluate their cleaning and disinfecting protocols and identify newer, healthier methods for ensuring the safety and well-being of their residents.

For one long-term care provider, Trilogy Health Services, based in Louisville, Kentucky, the pandemic threat served as an impetus to review and update their desire to improve disinfection in their facilities. According to Parker Lacy, Vice President of Facilities Management for Trilogy, “The pandemic allowed us to look at ways we could elevate our environmental care.”

Trilogy Health Services operates a network of skilled nursing, assisted living, memory care, and independent living facilities and manages 127 Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan campuses. A staff of 14,000 provides care for 11,000 residents, and this volume constitutes a significant responsibility for Trilogy and its facilities management team.

Senior Care Challenge

The pandemic focused Trilogy management’s thoughts on providing a healthy, indoor environment for residents and their families and the staff who care for them. Disinfection is critical in any healthcare facility, but it becomes increasingly important when caring for elderly residents with compromised immune systems and other illnesses. A scalable environmental safety solution became their priority because of the number of people and facilities for which the company is responsible. Trilogy leadership knew that residents, families, and employees would want reassurance about safety measures, not just during COVID but for the long term. 

Building a Shield for Long-Term Care Patients

Trilogy’s goal when evaluating solutions was two-fold. First, they wanted to ensure the safety of their staff and residents. Second, they wanted to set an example for the industry by pioneering the most efficacious new technology. This desire to adopt industry-leading solutions ties to Trilogy’s SHIELD Program, a cleanliness initiative that brings a layered approach to fighting

infectious disease. 

SHIELD stands for:

• Sanitation

• Health solutions

• Illness prevention

• Evidence-based

• Lasting technologies and

• Disinfection tools

Finding the right disinfection technology with proven clinical research was essential based on these principles. They also wanted to ensure that their selection checked boxes for sustainability, safety, quick execution, ease of implementation, and usage across campuses.

The UV-C Solution

The trilogy began searching for a disinfection solution that could provide confidence and security amid COVID and into the future. “We looked at our 5-year horizons and tried to identify the right decision for environmental protection and safety, both for today and five years,” explains Lacy. 

Trilogy was familiar with UV disinfection systems and its frequent use in hospitals, and they were interested in bringing this technology to their facilities. The ability of UV-C devices to inactivate bacteria, viruses, and mold on surfaces and in the air without dangerous chemicals makes them safer and more sustainable than many other disinfection options. After evaluating various manufacturers, Trilogy chose R-Zero’s flagship device, Arc, for an initial pilot after seeing its ease of use, efficacy, and reporting capabilities during a live demo.

Implementing UV-C into Long-Term Care Facilities

Trilogy tested Arc against their criteria for 30 days. They chose to move forward with R-Zero as their disinfection partner at the end of the demonstration within a month. Says Parker Lacy, “After about 30 days, we felt confident with the technology, and we made a bold move: We purchased a device for every campus.” 

R-Zero’s customer success team created a week-by-week roll-out plan specific to Trilogy’s needs. Trilogy staff members received remote training during the rollout, and this practical training on operating the Arc devices was critical. Despite the virtual nature of the training, Lacy reports that operating the device “was so intuitive and easy: it does exactly what the training describes.” 

The training provided by R-Zero was vital, as Trilogy did not have the internal support necessary to train every employee in their extensive network in person. In addition to providing hardware and operator training for rollout, R-Zero partnered with the Trilogy IT team to integrate the data provided by the devices with Trilogy’s internal PowerBI dashboard. This integration proved crucial for Trilogy because it gives access to device utilization and disinfection cycle data to leaders at the facility and executive levels. This visibility layers in data points with existing reporting protocols to help people see and validate the device usage. Reflecting on the implementation and roll-out process, Lacy called the experience “fantastic,” adding, “We really couldn’t be happier.” 

The Arc implementation over-delivered on expectations on both the front and back end. The visibility of the devices in Trilogy facilities and their data on the disinfection measures included in Trilogy’s SHIELD initiative provide pivotal evidence for employees and residents of the care that Trilogy takes to keep them safe. 

An Exceptional Solution

For more than 100 years, UV-C has been used as a disinfectant with outstanding results. Since 1903 when Dr. Niels Ryberg Finsen received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his use of UV-C in treating a form of Lupus, the germicidal qualities of ultraviolet light have changed the way we think about disinfection. If you’re rethinking your approach to disinfection in your facility, we invite you to contact us to show you how your facility can benefit from R-Zero’s unique UV-C technology.

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