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The robot will clean up now: More hospitals buying automated systems to reduce infections
Modern Healthcare

A growing number of hospitals are buying robots that kill bacteria such as C-difficile as they seek new tools to stop costly and deadly hospital-acquired infections. But there are questions about how best to use the new disinfection robots.

The University of Vermont Medical Center, a health system based in Burlington, is one of hundreds of U.S. hospitals that have purchased a disinfection robot. Sally Hess, U-V’s manager of infection prevention, said the two Xenex Disinfection Services robots purchased last year add an “extra level of protection” to the hospital’s infection-control program. It removes the element of human error, she said.

The market for disinfection robots is expected to grow from $30 million in 2014 to $80 million by 2017. But as adoption grows, hospitals have to decide which of two technologies is better, how to deploy the robots most efficiently, and whether they actually reduce hospital-acquired infections.