Washington Regional Medical Center Uses Germ-Zapping Robot

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Washington Regional Medical Center now has two germ zapping robots.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Ratcliff said the last few years hospitals around the country have been experiencing a significant increase in hospital acquired infections.

“What this robot brings to us is a whole new methodology and one that kills viruses and bacteria, fungi, really anything living that the patient can acquire in the hospital and have a hospital inquired infection, this is able to sterilize,” Ratcliff said.

Dr. Ratcliff said hospitals around the country that have been using these robots have seen about a 50 percent decrease in these infections.

He said when an infected patient leaves the hospital they do what is called a terminal clean.

“You come in certain chemicals and try to clean all the surfaces you possibly can but what this robot does, is through the ultra violet light it emits it is able to get into every nook and cranny and kill organisms on really all surfaces,” he said.

To disinfect a patient room like this one it takes three cycles which are 15 minutes. One cycle on each side of the bed and then a third cycle in the bathroom.

Environmental services manager Shirley Bowman said these robots will also help during this flu season.

“It's an added layer of protection for our patients to ensure that they have the cleanest, safest place they can come,” she said.

Washington Regional is the only community hospital in our area to use these robots and the only other community hospital in the state with the technology is in Searcy.

The hospital said if they have success with the robots they will look into getting more.