Indiana hospital adds germ-killing robots in COVID-19 fight

Posted at 10:35 AM, Oct 25, 2020

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — An eastern Indiana hospital has added three germ-killing robots to its efforts to combat the coronavirus in rooms occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Reid Health began using one of the robots during 2017 at the hospital in Richmond, but it recently added three more of the robots, which disinfect surgery and inpatient rooms using pulsed xenon ultraviolet light.

Xenex’s Light Strike robots expedite the sterilization process and are used to sterilize every room after a COVID-19 patient is released. The coronavirus pandemic spurred the hospital to bolster its robot arsenal, the Palladium-Item reported.

Utilizing the robots to supplement normal cleaning procedures “adds an extra layer of protection for our patients, visitors and staff,” said Kim Schneider, a registered nurse with Reid infection control.

Xenon ultraviolet light disinfects rooms without leaving chemical residue or toxic fumes, and health systems using the technology report significant decreases in infection rates.

The light, which is hundreds of times more intense than sunlight, destroys bacteria, viruses, fungi and bacterial spores by fusing their DNA and rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic this year highlighting the importance of infection control, we always ensure we have the best tools and technology at our disposal,” said Jennifer Ehlers, vice president and chief quality officer for the health system.