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Martha Jefferson Healthwise: ATP Luminometer

Do you ever wonder how clean your patient room is when you're admitted into the hospital? In this week's Martha Jefferson Healthwise report CBS19's Stephanie Satchell takes a look at the machine that's helping the hospital track its cleanliness.

There are many surfaces inside a patient's room at Martha Jefferson Hospital like the phone, light switches, bed tables and more.

Now the hospital is identifying 10 high touch areas in the room and checking them with this device called the ATP Luminometer.

"We test each one of those surfaces in the room. The machine downloads the data and then we're actually able to graph the readings off of the luminometer and determine whether we need to focus on certain areas that need to be cleaned better," said Bill Weigold, Manager of Environmental Services, Martha Jefferson Hospital.

After the test, the luminometer displays a number. Less than 400 is green or good. 400-800 is cautionary or yellow and more than 800 is red.

Martha Jefferson is shooting for a green rating.

In the event that a surface is swabbed and comes back with a high count of bacteria, the hospital responds.

"When a surface comes back scoring either in the cautionary or in the red level, we go back to the staff and ask them to re-clean the surface and then we retest it to make sure we're within the limits of under 400," said Weigold.

At a time when the flu is on the rise, healthcare providers say having a system like this helps ensure that patients, visitors and staff stay healthy and don't pick up any illnesses while they're in the building.

"Whether it be an infection or whether it be an illness such as the flu, this device and testing surfaces and making sure that we've cleaned things is going to help prevent any transmission from one patient to another or one employee to another," said Weigold.

Before the luminometer, the hospital only had a cleaning checklist and a "look" test. Now they have the data to prove whether or not a room is clean. They say that helps them keep patients and everyone who enters the room much safer.

The device is used in all patient rooms and operating rooms.

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