Germ-zapping robot used to disinfect patient rooms

Posted By: Jenn Schanz 

Imagine a robot that could clean your room for you. 

Well, Bryan Medical Center has got one, sort of. 

It’s a Xenex Germ–Zapping Robot.

Bryan Medical Center got it a few months ago to cut back on the spreading of germs and bacteria, which can lead to serious illness.

“Hospital–acquired infections have such a major impact on communities across the country,” says Jeff DeBeor, Environmental Services Manager for Bryan Health. 

In fact, the latest CDC numbers show 1.7 million Americans are affected by hospital-acquired infections each year.

Bryan Medical Center staff say the robot, which costs $100,000, is going to bring that number down.

“It’s another layer, another layer of safety,” DeBoer says. 

The robot uses pulses of ultraviolet light to zap germs, break down their DNA and make them harmless. It can take as little as 5 minutes to clean a whole room.

The robot can also target more than just everyday pathogens and bacteria.

“It’s also very effective against Ebola. I know that’s been a hot topic recently, so we’ve even incorporated that into our Ebola preparation,” he says.

Right now, only two hospitals in Nebraska have a germ-zapper; Bryan Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine in Omaha.

But staff at Bryan say they envision opting for another one sometime in the future.