making business case for uvc in senior care facilities

Making the Business Case for Infection Prevention in Senior Care Facilities

Disinfection is a key element for any healthy communal living space, but it is crucial in nursing homes and senior care facilities.

A population with a higher percentage of frail or immunocompromised members requires regular, high-quality disinfection to support everyone’s safety. UV-C technology can provide that disinfection at a cost and efficacy advantage to rapidly increasing janitorial labor and chemical costs.

UV-C’s Impact on Health in Senior Care

An independent study on the effect of R-Zero’s devices at a Trilogy Health Services facility included environmental assessments, irradiance measurements, and bioaerosol exposure calculations to evaluate the real-world effectiveness of UV-C devices.

The study found a 99% reduction in viable surface bacteria and a 93% reduction in airborne opportunistic microbes.

How R-Zero UV-C Devices Work

The R-Zero Beam is an ultraviolet germicidal irradiation system that shines UV-C light across the upper part of a room. When people are in the room, the air they exhale is warmer than the surrounding air, and it rises. The Beam’s UV-C light inactivates any microbes in that air as it reaches the top layer of the room, and convection recirculates that air down. Beam includes two sensors that constantly monitor the disinfection zone and turn it off if anyone is detected in the irradiation zone, so there is no risk of exposure.

The R-Zero Vive attaches to ceilings like any other light fixture. It emits Far-UV at a human-safe wavelength. This means that it can emit UV-C light continuously when people are present and absent to continuously disinfect surfaces and air underneath the light. 

ROI for UV-C in Senior Care

UV-C delivers financial ROI in a number of ways to senior care facility owners.

HVAC Savings

UV-C disinfection saves money on heating and cooling, especially in older facilities. Heating and cooling are designed to ensure a comfortable temperature and humidity and control odors. But during the pandemic, standards bodies like the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), agencies like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and scientific organizations like The Lancet made recommendations for increasing ventilation and filtration dramatically to reduce infection risk. Increasing ventilation requires moving, heating, and cooling more air. Finer filters require more power to push air through them. In both cases, this results in much higher operating costs for the heating and cooling system.

UV-C disinfection offers a recognized, scientifically proven alternative that uses 80% less energy to achieve an equivalent effect. With R-Zero’s UV-C disinfection, these facilities can lower their heating and cooling bills and still achieve air cleanliness targets. An additional benefit of lower energy use is 90%+ lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Custodial Savings

In an average 100-resident facility, there are about 7,800 square feet of spaces where infection risk is higher. These spaces, like dining rooms, activity rooms, and physical therapy rooms usually have higher occupancy or crowding or activity levels like exercise that increase breathing volume. To cover these spaces for a 100-resident facility, R-Zero recommends 12 Beams and 8 Vives, which cost just under $20,000 for 20 units, with significantly lower recurring costs in the second year. (These are typical recommendations; we work with every customer on their specific spaces and risk profile to produce a tailored plan.)

The continuous disinfection of these high-risk spaces significantly reduces the burden on janitorial staff to wipe down surfaces, change air filters, and purchase cleaning chemicals. We estimate that this works out to a savings of about 10% of those costs, which are roughly $65 per square foot per year. This means that for the high-risk spaces alone, the savings are around $50,000 per year against an investment of $20,000.

That’s over 200% return on investment in just the first year.

Senior Care Needs UV-C

UV-C devices can transform your senior care facility’s approach to disinfection, improving the environment for residents and saving facility owners significant costs from the first year at the same time.

Contact us for a facility-specific estimate of risk reduction and savings.

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